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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2007
I am writing this review to balance the review by the dissatisfied student. Do not believe it. Panofsky and Phillips is one of the great graduate level books on classical electrodynamics. It is comparable in level and quality to Landau and Lifshitz and to Jackson. As the student reveiwer implies it may be a bit less concise and somewhat more talkative than those two, but the explanations given are often profund and can be of great value to the serious, mature, and literate student. This book really belongs to a decent library on electromagnetism.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2007
I'm so thrilled to see that this book is back in print. It is vastly superior to the standard text (Jackson) used in most graduate physics programs. The explanations are concise but clear; and they help the student develop good physical insight. My only real criticism of this book is that the mathematical notation is a bit unwieldy, but it's used consistently throughout the entire text so that's not really a problem after you get through the first couple of chapters and get used to it. If you could have only one graduate level E & M book, this would be the one to get.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2010
I have been going through electricity and magnetism books to find a good text at the graduate level and recently started to reread this one. Since originally finding this book (in the 1962 hardback edition) at a library sale as a grad student I have taught graduate electricity and magnetism and undergraduate electromagnetism classes from both Jackson and Griffiths as a professor. Griffiths was very clear but Jackson was just painful to use. Panofsky and Philips is a fairly old text, so I didn't pull it off the shelf. I should have.

Reading Panofsky and Philips again, the things that seemed obscure at when I was a grad student turned out to be the things I had worked out while making notes on Griffiths as a professor. The discussion is deeper though and goes into more detail with references to the literature that are really helpful and always motivated by the physics. Where Jackson is just opaque and obscure the discussions of difficulties here are logical and clear. It could use more examples and problems. The units are MKS which is helpful if you learned from Griffiths. Really outstanding text though I would supplement it with a problem book to get the full benefit.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2011
This is a wonderful book that focuses more on physics than on the mathematical techniques. It is one of the few books still in print to deal with topics like a) stresses in fluids and solids due to external electromagnetic fields, b) Maxwell equations in moving media in the non-relativistic case or c) use of complex variables in solving potential problems.

Unlike Jackson's book that promises to prepare the reader to handle research problems in theoretical physics by teaching the necessary mathematical methods, Panofsky and Phillips focus on electromagnetism alone and do a wonderful job.

I think this is a good graduate level book and if read with its contemporaries like Stratton's Electromagnetic Theory or Smythe's Static and Dynamic Electricity, it can provide a formidable foundation in the subject.
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on December 3, 2012
The best EM book money can buy. This book is easy to read and has the right balance between physics and mathematical derivation.
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on May 26, 2015
nice book but its better to have the new edition...
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2013
I may have read an earlier edition. It was 1965 and I was only studying part time at NSW after having failed Applied Maths III (higher) the year before. Bill Smith was the lecturer.
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I worked the first few chapters of this book, as a small part of the Applied Maths II at NSW in 1965. By spending a lot of time (I guess 10 hours a week) on the book, I was able to work all the exercises in the first few chapters of the book. This was the best success I have ever had with uni maths, though I did not sit the exam at the end of the year.

At the same, I put a similar amount of work into Schiff (Quantum Mechanics) and Bailey (Stochastic Processes).

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However I dropped out after half the year. But not because of problems with the maths. I had Arbib, Blatt, Sloan as other lecturers, and it was going perfectly.

I dropped out because Bill Sparkes gave me 0/10 for the philosophy essay on Plato's theory of forms, which mean that I was going to fail Philosophy I (again), and hence not graduate this year. I already had a double major in maths and did not need to pass the Applied Maths.

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I gave away my maths books in 1970. This was a foolish thing to do - I would have liked to spend the next 50 years rereading them.
But I was stressed by John Pollard asking me to enrol in a computer science course. I did not know at the time, that if you study maths you have developed the mental equipment to understand computer languages, but the converse does not hold: studying computer languages (in the limited form they have today) does not equip you to understand maths.
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6 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2006
Book is more about "words" than it is about math. YOu need to have a book like Jackson, or Griffiths to complement this book. To be honest, I hate it and don't use it. I like Jackson better. Makes assumptions with no proof.
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