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The Classical Theory of Fields, Fourth Edition: Volume 2 (Course of Theoretical Physics Series) [Paperback]

L D Landau , E.M. Lifshitz
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 31, 1975 0750627689 978-0750627689 4
The fourth edition contains seven new sections with chapters on General Relativity, Gravitational Waves and Relativistic Cosmology. The text has been thoroughly revised and additional problems inserted.


The Complete course of Theoretical Physics by Landau and Lifshitz, recognized as two of the world's outstanding physicists, is published in full by Butterworth-Heinemann. It comprises nine volumes, covering all branches of the subject; translations from the Russian are by leading scientists.

Frequently Bought Together

The Classical Theory of Fields, Fourth Edition: Volume 2 (Course of Theoretical Physics Series) + Mechanics, Third Edition: Volume 1 (Course of Theoretical Physics S) + Quantum Mechanics, Third Edition: Non-Relativistic Theory (Volume 3)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'The clarity of style, the conciseness of treatment and the originality and variety of illustrative problems make this a book which can be highly recommended.' Proceedings of the Physical Society

Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Course of Theoretical Physics Series (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann; 4 edition (December 31, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750627689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750627689
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
When I need the real explanation of something concerning relativity, electromagnetism or gravitation, I know this is the place to go. I know I will find the essence of the problem clearly yet tersely written. Some highlights: the derivation of the retarded Green function, where a clever mathematical analogy avoids lots of contour integration; the frequent use of the powerful Hamilton-Jacobi equation, again avoiding long Riemannian-geometry computations; the explanation of why nothing, not even light, can escape the attraction of a black hole. When it overlaps with Jackson's rightly famous textbook on Electrodynamics, you'll see the difference between a good (Jackson's) and a remarkable book. Though not up to date in matters of cosmology, it is still the starting point to be recommended.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate treatise on classical field theory September 3, 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is simply the best treatment of the subject that can be found. Period. Having been written by Landau it comes with the guarantee that the material is presented in the most elegant, yet logically consistent manner possible. And this book delivers all of that and more. Similar to the approach in "Mechanics" the principle of least action plays a prominent role in all the theories: relativistic mechanics, electromagnetic theory and Einstein GR. As a result Landau develops the whole material through very plausible and very physical arguments, thus providing a very deep understanding for the material.
To put it simply, the derivation of Maxwell's equations are stunning. I have never seen a clearer, more convincing treatment. And as we have come to expect from this series, it is almost impossible to find any flaws(except for some typos which unfortunately still exist even in the most recent reprint.) The sections on radiation of electromagnetic waves and
The treatment of relativity is very consice and it is rather unfortunate that we could not get a more detailed exposition on the subject from Landau. It would have been extremely interesting to see what Landau would have had to say had he written this section after the "Golden Area for Black Holes Rsearch" As it is the discussion of Relativity from, as is to be expected, a principle of least action(Hilbert Action) is very cleverly done. Every section of the book is very physically motivated rather than purely geometric arguments. Reading this book gives you a fairly good intuitive understanding for the actual physics involved rather than simply an ability to write and solve field equations.
It might be a very good idea to read some sections of their Vol1.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic text November 30, 2004
Format:Paperback
Yes. The writing is clear and concise. The book is packed with information.

This book is for those who want to do physics, and it teaches one to do physics the way physicists do it. It is the second volume in L&L's Course on Theoretical Physics; it follows the volume on Mechanics. And the next logical topic is relativity. So this book starts out with special relativity, four-vectors, relativistic mechanics, and particle decay and scattering.

But then we proceed to what I think really needs to come next, namely a discussion of electromagnetic fields. We derive Maxwell's equations. We learn a little about optics. And then we get to the field of moving charges, and radiation of electromagnetic waves. These are very important topics. If I were teaching a class on relativity, I'd make good use of these two chapters. I think it is very instructive to learn about the field of an accelerating charge.

The sections on general relativity are especially well written. And we learn how to work all sorts of general relativity problems, such as finding the radiated energy and angular momentum loss for a system of two bodies moving in elliptical orbits. The icing on the cake is a short chapter on cosmology.

This is the way to learn physics.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly lucid November 18, 2004
Format:Paperback
I expected this book to be dense and incomprehensible, like I have found other of their books before, but the material is actually clearly presented, and not as terse as it may seem from a first glance. While not as comprehensive in coverage as Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics, I find it easier to follow. As far as coverage of GR goes, it's succinct: I found it very helpful to work through this book before tackling MTW.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Ever Read June 1, 2001
Format:Paperback
This is the best book on gravity. General relativity can be presented in purely mathematical form with differential geometry and topology, or in physical form, using only algebra and tensor calculus. L.Landau and E.Lifshitz have chosen the second attitude, which is simpler and more useful for physicists. All derivations and constructions are clear, logical and seem to be natural. I learned general relativity from this book and this theory became my favourite, as well as this book. The part on classical electrodynamics is also very good, I like that the authors begin with special relativity and Maxwell equations (as well as the fact that in their Classical Mechanics they start from the least action principle). Although The Classical Theory of Fields was written about 60 years ago and there is no topics, such as radiation of black holes, it is in my opinion the best book for everyone who wants to learn Einstein theory of gravitation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Theory of Fields by Landau and Lipchitz: a must
I have read the old version in French which was very concise and the new one is even more concise.
Landau & Lipchitz do not need recommendation as I think they are the best... Read more
Published 28 days ago by ghassan HALABY
2.0 out of 5 stars excellent book 5 star, ugly printing minus 1 star
Butterworth-Heinemann must be run by a bunch of uneducated villagers.
They have zero respect to this set of wonderful textbooks by publishing
the books with the lowest... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Frank
1.0 out of 5 stars Landau sucks
I'm sorry, but I don't agree with everyone on Landau. His book is just an archaic and confusing take on electrodynamics. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nathan Walruscaptain
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Higher-Level textbook
This is a great upper-level E&M book. Every problem in the book has at least a partial solution to get you started and many have complete solutions. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scott Galica
5.0 out of 5 stars Great print quality on the new addition.
I just got this book in and haven't had a chance to read past chapter 1, so if you're looking for a book review see the below comments. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
It's so simple to read and just to the point. I honestly had to use the Jackson book, which was not that great, but made a great grade because of the Landau-Lifshitz classic. Read more
Published on November 13, 2011 by b1y
5.0 out of 5 stars Field Theory Classic
One of the greatest achievements of the 20th century Physics has been the formulation of all physical phenomena in terms of fields. Read more
Published on June 16, 2011 by Dr. Bojan Tunguz
4.0 out of 5 stars A very dense little text, with lots of good content.
This was the course text for the University of Toronto undergrad 'relativistic electrodynamics'. A surprisingly small subset of the first half of this text was covered in that... Read more
Published on June 11, 2011 by Peeter Joot
5.0 out of 5 stars Just one word; genius.
Being both a mechanical engineer and an absolute lover of physics, I have few words to describe what this book means. Read more
Published on September 9, 2009 by Personnalité- ( S. Robert Tod. )
5.0 out of 5 stars A good reference book for EM students
By "good" in the title, I mean probably the best of all times when in comes to what the book is about. Read more
Published on July 6, 2009 by Johan Nystrom
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