jackson - A Companion to Classical Electrodynamics 3 rd...

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Unformatted text preview: A Companion to Classical Electrodynamics 3 rd Edition by J.D. Jackson Rudolph J. Magyar September 30, 2008 c Rudolph J. Magyar. No portion of this may be reproduced for profit without the expressed prior written consent of Rudolph J. Magyar. 1 A lot of things can be said about Classical Electrodynamics , the third edition, by David J. Jackson. It’s seemingly exhaustive, well researched, and certainly popular. Then, there is a general consensus among teachers that this book is the definitive graduate text on the subject. In my opinion, this is quite unfortunate. The text often assumes familiarity with the material, skips vital steps, and provides too few examples. It is simply not a good introductory text. On the other hand, Jackson was very ambitious. Aside from some notable omissions (such as conformal mapping methods), Jackson exposes the reader to most of classical electro-magnetic theory. Even Thomas Aquinas would be impressed! As a reference, Jackson’s book is great! It is obvious that Jackson knows his stuff, and in no place is this more apparent than in the problems which he asks at the end of each chapter. Sometimes the problems are quite simple or routine, other times difficult, and quite often there will be undaunting amounts of algebra required. Solving these problems is a time consuming endevour for even the quickest reckoners among us. I present this Companion to Jackson as a motivation to other students. These problems can be done! And it doesn’t take Feynmann to do them. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, lots of paper, and your own wits; you’ll be able to wrestle with the concepts that challenged the greatest minds of the last century. Before I begin, I will recommend several things which I found useful in solving these problems. • Buy Griffiths’ text, an Introduction to Electrodynamics . It’s well writ- ten and introduces the basic concepts well. This text is at a more basic level than Jackson, and to be best prepared, you’ll have to find other texts at Jackson’s level. But remember Rome wasn’t build in a day, and you have to start somewhere. • Obtain other texts on the level (or near to it) of Jackson. I rec- ommend Vanderlinde’s Electromagnetism book or Eyges’ Electromag- netism book. Both provide helpful insights into what Jackson is talking about. But even more usefully, different authors like to borrow each others’ problems and examples. A problem in Jackson’s text might be an example in one of these other texts. Or the problem might be rephrased in the other text; the rephrased versions often provide insight into what Jackson’s asking! After all half the skill in writing a hard i physics problem is wording the problem vaguely enough so that no one can figure out what your talking about....
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jackson - A Companion to Classical Electrodynamics 3 rd...

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