Physics & Astronomy

Advanced Classical Electromagnetism

A modern approach to classical electromagnetism


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Feb 1, 2022
16 b/w illus.
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Electromagnetism is one of the pillars of modern physics. Robert Wald provides graduate students with a clear, concise, and mathematically precise introduction to the subject, covering all the core topics while bringing the teaching of electromagnetism up to date with our modern understanding of the subject. Electromagnetism is usually taught in a quasi-historical fashion, starting from concepts formulated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but this tends to promote outdated ways of thinking about the theory. Wald begins with Maxwell’s equations—the foundation of electromagnetism—together with the formulas for the energy density, momentum density, and stress tensor of the electromagnetic field. He then proceeds through all the major topics in classical electromagnetism, such as electrostatics, dielectrics, magnetostatics, electrodynamics and radiation, diffraction, and special relativity. The last two chapters discuss electromagnetism as a gauge theory and the notion of a point charge—topics not normally treated in electromagnetism texts.

  • Completely rethinks how to teach electromagnetism to first-year graduate students
  • Presents electromagnetism from a modern, mathematically precise perspective, formulating key conceptual ideas and results clearly and concisely
  • Written by a world-class physicist and proven in the classroom
  • Covers all the subjects found in standard electromagnetism textbooks as well as additional topics such as the derivation of the initial value formulation for Maxwell’s equations
  • Also ideal as a supplementary text or for self-study