Griffiths ‘Introduction to Electrodynamics’.

Griffiths ‘Introduction to Electrodynamics’ (and problems and solutions here).

Want it or not, you’ll probably be hearing his name a lot throughout the course. That is because David J. Griffiths has written three great books about physics. All of them are introductions to three different themes (quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and elementary particles) and all of them are very used. And if your professor is using any of this books, it is guaranteed that there will be at least one or two problems from his book in your exam (or at least very very similar problems).

Concerning the Electrodynamic’s book, it is a very good book. A good thing about Griffith’s style is that he uses a lot of examples (even though not all of them are simple) to help you understand the conclusions/laws/formulas he arrives mathematically. It is certainly not has conceptual as Feynman Lectures Volume II (you can get all three volumes here), as it has a more mathematical approach, but it is perhaps a better introduction to the subject for those who like to rely more on the mathematical side of physics and then try to get all the meaning out of the equations (instead of understanding physics and then try to mathematize it). Both are good approaches but maybe the first one is less time-consuming and more immediate on academic results (it you are good with the math of course), even though on the long run both approaches should give the same results and understanding (at least ideally).

The problems in the book are almost mandatory, as they are very good (you have easy problems, hard and very hard, depending on the stars behind them). An advise is to do first the problems that come immediately after a new law/equation is derived and only after solving all of them (and if you have time) should you try to solve the problems in the end of each chapter, the ones that start with ‘more problems on [name of the chapter]‘ (those are harder and aren’t very used in exams).

Interesting Link: http://academic.reed.edu/physics/faculty/griffiths.html

About impblack

Physics student at the university of Coimbra, Portugal.
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