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Electricity and Magnetism 3rd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1107014022
ISBN-10: 1107014026
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Although the basic physics remains largely unchanged, the Purcell and Morin book has many clarifying discussions based on those experimental results, and most chapters end with current applications and a summary. Solutions to the problems represent roughly one-quarter of the text-they are a most welcome addition, particularly for self-study. (Purcell wrote out a solution manual by hand-mainly for instructors!-to accompany his first edition.) "
H. Henry Stroke, New York University for Physics Today

Book Description

Introducing students to the world of electricity and magnetism, the third edition of this classic textbook has now been converted to SI units and features additional examples and problems. It covers all the standard introductory topics and contains hundreds of illustrations and nearly 600 end-of-chapter problems and exercises.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 853 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 3 edition (January 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107014026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107014022
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin Crowell on March 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best freshman E&M text of all time -- provided that the class consists of students ready to handle the material at this level. Although the necessary tools of vector calculus are introduced from scratch, I doubt that most students would be able to get up to speed unless they had already had vector calculus or were at least taking it concurrently.

The best known innovation of this book was the presentation of magnetism as a consequence of relativity. The book assumes you've already learned special relativity. (There is an appendix on SR in the 3rd edition, but realistically that wouldn't be sufficient.)

I ordered a copy of the 3rd edition ($76), and compared it side by side with my disintegrating but much-loved copy of the 1965 1st edition. The price is amazingly reasonable compared to the kind of exploitative prices you see these days for textbooks.

One thing I'd never noticed before is that the 1st edition has a notice on its copyright page saying that it's available for royalty-free use after 1970. (It was an NSF-sponsored project.) So theoretically it's legal to scan it and put it on the web for free. However, what I find when I look around on the web is people illegally making the 2nd edition available through sleazy file-sharing sites.

The most important change is the switch from cgs to SI units. Three cheers. Without this change the book would have stayed in the ghetto forever.

The 3rd edition is almost twice the bulk of the 1st. This is mostly because there are far more problems, and many of them have complete solutions in the back of the book. This is a great new feature.

There is also an applications section at the end of every chapter.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purcell takes an unconventional approach in this book. Most of the electromagnetics is derived from three laws in this book: Coulomb's law, charge invariance, and special theory of relativity. This approach is especially beautiful and fruitful as the reader can make deep connections between electricity and magnetism. Yet, the book is easy to digest as most of the material is explained over experiments with very useful illustrations. The clarity and precise language with which the material is presented almost qualifies the text for bedtime reading. Finally, each chapter ends with practical applications of the topics covered.
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Format: Hardcover
Text from a Nobel Laureate. What a privilege that we own to be able to not only read it but to study seriously from it.

First of all, this book is deep. You need to be very potent in advanced Maths (Vector analysis) & Physics (Special Relativity) to be able to discover the beauty of EM theory that Purcell presents in this remarkable book.

This book tells you that:

1. Magnetic force is actually electric force caused by relative movement of charged particles. (You need to learn Special Relativity before you can understand Chap 5)

2. How to calculate magnetic field using vector potential( just in a similar way that we use to calculate electric field using scalar potential). If you want to know how to derive Biot Savart Law, which Halliday's Physics wont even bother, you will find it in Chap 6.

3. Both integral and differential form of Maxwell equations (in terms of vector operators, e.g. G.D.C.-- Gradient, Divergence and Curl)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The reader should possess a good grasp of Calculus, including vector calculus, in order to follow the reasoning of the text. The "Excercises and Problems" sections at the end of each chapter were very helpful to me in grasping what was said in the previous chapter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an improvement of the second edition. More problems, exercices, solutions, more material (the dipole treatment), corrections to the few erratas the earlier version has. In two words: much better.
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Format: Hardcover
Originally written by Nobel laureate Edward Purcell and now updated by David Morin, this textbook is one of the best inroductory text on E&M for physics and emgineering students who wish to get a handle on this demanding subject. Especially useful are the solutions to the exercises.
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Format: Hardcover
An amazing book that treats the subject matter in an intuitive way, always providing graphic illustrations. It Is a lower-division EM book and that is the only drawback according to me. But for anybody going through a first-second year course in EM, this is ideal. It is also very helpful for upper division in case that you need/forgot some intuition on the basics and some visualization of the phenomena. Dr. Morin has took an already great book and made it even better. Although, I would have liked for some more difficult problems to be added in the future for those wanting to go the extra mile.
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This is really quite an excellent book. Purcell's explanations are usually very clear, and reading the book can even be pleasurable and at times humorous. The pictures are often very helpful, and the tables/graphs offer useful information. I especially loved his treatment of magnetism as a result of special relativity. He put this right in the introduction, which I found quite interesting and intuitive.
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