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Classical Electrodynamics [Hardcover]

John David Jackson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 145.95
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Book Description

Aug. 10 1998 047130932X 978-0471309321 3
A revision of the defining book covering the physics and classical mathematics necessary to understand electromagnetic fields in materials and at surfaces and interfaces. The third edition has been revised to address the changes in emphasis and applications that have occurred in the past twenty years.

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Classical Electrodynamics + Modern Quantum Mechanics (2nd Edition)
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Product Description

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A revision of the defining book covering the physics and classical mathematics necessary to understand electromagnetic fields in materials and at surfaces and interfaces. The third edition has been revised to address the changes in emphasis and applications that have occurred in the past twenty years.

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First Sentence
We begin our discussion of electrodynamics with the subject of electrostatics-phenomena involving time-independent distributions of charge and fields. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I believe the main reason that this book remains the standard graduate-level E&M text is "inertia". Your prof used it, and so you will, too. As a physics text, it supplies more mathematical details than physical insight. Confusing mathematical expressions with physical understanding may be the reason that many people get the warm and fuzzy feeling about this book. The truth is, most people who proclaim to enjoy this book probably haven't throughly mastered the -physical- contents of Griffith's undergraduate text. If you truely have, you can go a long way without touching Jackson. Sure, long math equations can be orgasmic, but it's not physics.
The explanations in this book for the most part can best be described as turbid. For a particulary hideous example, try the section on the vectorial diffraction theory, and come back and ask yourself if you really know what the heck he's talking about. And then ask if HE knew what he was talking about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence in Physics Feb. 17 2004
By A Customer
First off, this is either a graduate book or a senior undergraduate book in Physics. The book assumes at least 2 years of college math, preferably for engineering or physics folks.
What sets this book apart is the focus on physics is perfect as we understand E&M theory at this point. Unlike other imperfect college texts like Lorraine and Courson, this book contains no errors. While some may no like "and the proof is left to the reader", the book is meant to teach people who are focused on physics but can describe the process mathematically as well as in regular language.
The assumption is that there has already been a rigorous introduction of both physics and mathematics so this book is NOT a casual read.
The beauty of this book is that it's not just teaching knowledge but it teaches one how to think. To those who can rise to the occasion and draw upon their education, professors and peers, there is the satisfaction of really understanding E&M clearly and concisely.
To those who only seek rote knowledge, this book will be too challenging.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If only one has the background Sept. 11 2003
I used Jackson for my graduate level advanced electrodynamics class. I was befuddled the first semester but made a good grade. Between the first and second semesters I had to study for and take the qualifiers. I used Jeans and Smythe's Static and Dynamic Electricity and found these to be excellent though difficult texts. As a corollary I also re-studied the required mathematics. Now I understood where Jackson was coming from! I was able to not only solve all the problems in the electostatics and Maxwell equations sections of Jackson but also my studies from Smythe and Jeans covered much of the second semester of Jackson also. When I took the second semester I was able to breeze through solving the problems and taking the tests to such an extent that my professors, who had trouble with the problems, wondered what had happened. It did not hurt that a close friend and I had recently built a radio telescope array in the hills of Tennessee during vacation thereby obtaining a nearly irreproducible knowledge of antenna theory. In my opinion, Jackson is mostly a guideline for studying electrodynamics. Once the student has the background Jackson is both fun and enlightening. Therein lies the difficulty. I have noticed that many libraries have "put up" or gotten rid of their Jeans and Smythes and other classical texts. The new books are not really a substitute. Since many professors did not really learn electrodynamics that well themselves, this make it truly difficult to obtain a really great grounding in the subject. I did not truly understand the difference until I was doing a lot of computational electrodynamics years later. Regardless of how one goes about it, somehow the student must get the required background before really using Jackson in any meaningful fashion. Current education in physics has made this more not less difficult.
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(...but I wish I could!!!)
The title of my review just about sums my opinion on this "classic" grad electrodynamics text. The book kind of [stinks] as a textbook, but there is nothing even remotely close to it in scope out there.
So like a previous reviewer said: "Jackson's here to stay; GET USED TO IT!!"
...P>For those who still want my opinion on the specifics of this book (I promise, they won't help you-- you still have to get through Jackson!) I offer the following brief comments, some of which you may have heard before, some which may be new:
(1) The problems are hard. Damn hard. Someone else already said that, and I agree. What I WILL add, however, is that some of the problems are also simply STUPID and a waste of time, offering or enhancing physical understanding very little if at all. (Don't get me wrong-- there are some problems which, while hard, are also pretty darn cool. Unfortunately, there are too many of the other kind, too.) The type of problems I am talking about are of the following ilk: "Prove the following six-term vector identity;" "Re-derive equation #72 for a transverse magnetic field'" "Prove equation #27." Quite simply: WHO CARES!?!
(2) While the volume is pretty encyclopedic, it is often hard to follow. Jackson often simply states things in the text without explaining where they come from, how they are derived, or why they are important,--- for example, as I read the text, I began to hate the two words "we see," which are used is cases like (paraphrasing now) "Therefore, we see the following relationship holds"---when it was not at all clear to me where the heck this relationship was coming from! I often felt stupid because, in fact, I often did NOT "see" at all!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard
This is one hard nut to crack. Make sure you already are proficient with EM and relativity before you start this book.
Published on Feb. 12 2011 by Jacob Jacobson
1.0 out of 5 stars EECCCHHHH!!!!!
This book (I use the term loosely) stinks. Some reviewers suggest that you can only appreciate this book if you already have a solid foundation in math and Electromagnetics. Read more
Published on May 14 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Good old Jackson
I like Jackson, but I think that most people don't.
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is to tell the
Reviewer from July 12, 2000 that Jackson DID write
another... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonably good book, but not a good text book.
This book seems to just show how well Jackson knows E&M, but does not lead us readers well to know the subject. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars It depends upon how you use it - NOT a good starting point.
Having been through the torture imposed by all graduate programs in physics, I think we all agree that although Jackson's text is an excellent reference and a superb supplementary... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by A. B. Kaye
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and compact text for advanced undergraduates
Jacksons text still remains as the classic text for E and M. The problems are challenging and difficult I do admit. Read more
Published on June 23 2003 by ncr
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackson's book is here to stay . Get used to it.
For the last few decades, J.D. Jackson's book has been the standard textbook for graduate-level physics courses in electricity & magnetism. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2003 by Neal J. King
3.0 out of 5 stars lack of insight
I am currently taking a course from this book and my personal opinion is J.D. Jackson provides nothing but mathematical details. It is poorly written, i.e. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2002 by "andreafarrar"
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you have never dare to ask about electromagnitism
Like the Born & Wolf, the Jackson is one of those classic title that everyone knows (or fears)! Electrodynamics is a hard topic, and Jackson is a hard book. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by Yvan Dutil
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