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Classical Field Theory: Electromagnetism and Gravitation Hardcover – February 7, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0471595519 ISBN-10: 0471595519 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The author uses a unique approach which emphasizes the field theoretic aspects of gravitation and the strong analogies between gravitation and the other areas that are studied in physics. The theory-centered text begins with the simplest experimental facts then proceeds to the corresponding differential equations, theoretical constructs such as energy, momentum and stress and several applications. End-of-chapter problems provide students with an opportunity to test their understanding, serve as an introduction to and a review of material not included in the book and can be used to develop examples, extensions and generalizations of the material presented.

From the Back Cover

A unique textbook on electromagnetism and gravitation

This volume combines a novel approach with an accessible, down-to-earth treatment of electromagnetism and gravitation. It leads the student through classical electromagnetic theory, and introduces the gravitational field as a conventional second-rank tensor field.

Clear, concise, and self-contained, this theoretical exposition focuses on basic principles rather than applications and avoids abstractions through a careful selection of topics. Classical Field Theory: Electromagnetism and Gravitation features
* Everything a student should know to grasp the fundamentals of classical field theory
* A chapter on scattering that discusses material not readily available in other textbooks
* Two appendices--one on vectors and tensors, the other on spherical harmonics--to review material recurring throughout the text
* End-of-chapter exercises, some of which serve as mini-research problems

Based on courses taught by the author at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Classical Field Theory is an excellent text for a two-semester first-year graduate course on electromagnetism and gravitation.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 439 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Interscience; 1 edition (February 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471595519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471595519
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,655,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Francis Low is an outstanding theoretical physicist who also happens to have an interest in education. He wrote marvellous lectures on quantum scattering, where the misteries of the so-called Sommerfeld radiation condition were clarified (and derived!) by using wave-packets. His name in science was made mainly by the epoch-making paper, with Gell-Mann, which introduced the now ubiquitous renormalization group. It is noble of him to dedicate some of his time to write his vision of electrodynamics and gravitation, as examples of classical field theory. This is an advanced book, meant to deepen and unify concepts. But Francis Low would'nt stop at that. You'll find fresh views almost at every page, mainly on the electrodynamics part, his turf. Some criticism has been made, by Robert Wald, for instance, about his treatment of gravitation, which is more or less alla Feynman, or alla Schwinger: geometry is discovered. It is not the starting point, like in Einstein. This is also welcome: it puts your mind to work along different tracks. All in all, a great reading.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ronald W. Satz on March 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy collecting and reading field theory books. Prof. Low's book is very handsome on the outside, and the chapters appear to be enticing on first sight: Electrostatics, Steady Currents and Magnetostatics, Time-Dependent Fields and Currents, Radiation by Prescribed Sources, Scattering, Invariance and Special Relativity, Lagrangian Field Theory, and Gravity. But, with the exception of very, very gifted physics Ph.D. students and authors who've written on this subject, almost everyone will find the book way too difficult to comprehend. Most of the integrals do not specify limits or coordinate systems, and most of the tensor equations don't specify the indices--Prof. Low assumes that the reader can simply figure them out! There are no solved problems, no applications, and the exercises are--for the most part--mini-research projects! Prof. Low says in the Preface that his book is a textbook rather than a treatise, but it sure reads like a treatise. Most students and graduates would be better off studying the Schaum's Outline 2000 Solved Problems in Electromagnetics.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By twan on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Difficult to understand, very few examples, and the problems aren't very good at telling you what they are asking for. Maybe good if you already have a decent understanding of E&M, but this is not an appropriate text for a first graduate level class. Use Jackson for most stuff, fill in the gaps of what you missed as an undergraduate with Griffiths, and use Barut for the field theory stuff.
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1 of 46 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This subject is just too simple!
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