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on January 10, 2002
Most EM texts out there are overpriced and underwritten. They use color drawings and shiny, glossy pages to make up for lack of content. Shadowitz's book is the exact opposite: it's a dover edition, which means it's cheap and doesn't look as good. But this is one of those cases in which you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
Shadowitz is everything a serious student would like: it covers 1st/2nd year electromagnetism with great detail. It covers many topics, from basic electrostatics and vector analysis, to radiation theory and special relativity. The explanations are always kept clear. A physical context is always provided. Many solved examples are scattered throughout the text. The problems are instructive and odd-numbered ones have solutions at the end of the book. I simply cannot feel sorry that not all books are as good as this one. Although with most Dover books you get what you pay for (which isn't much), this book is an exception. Even if you're studying advanced EM and are using, say, Jackson's text, Shadowitz's text makes a great companion.
I have a few minor quibbles with the book, mainly its use of SI units, but Shadowitz provides appendices which explain how to convert between the various systems.
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on August 7, 2007
"The Electromagnetic Field" is the best book on electromagnetics I have read. Shadowitz treats electrostatics and magneostatics in a interwoven manner rather then in two parallel strands which makes it easier to digest the information as you can compare and contrast the two while they are still fresh in your mind.

Included also are two chapters on special relativity, an introduction to tensors and electrodynamics, and of course Maxwell's Equations. Answers to the odd number problems are in the back of the book which is extremely helpful for someone trying to learn this on their own. There is also a chapter on radiation which is one of the best introductions on the subject I have found.

I would recommend if one can find it "Basic Electromagnetic Theory" by Demetrius Paris and F. Kenneth Hurd. It is a good supplemental text although not absolutely necessary. Also check out MIT Professor Walter Lewin's video lectures, they are very informative and fun.

This book is very insightful and for the price it cannot be beat.

EDIT 5-29-2014

Comparing this book to David Griffiths Electrodynamics (3rd Edition).

I would choose Shadowitz over Griffiths, if you have to pick just one. Griffith's book is good in its own way and the one most used in colleges but I do think Shadowitz's treatment is more appealing to my mind. Shadowitz's chapters on relativity and tensors is more thorough and Shadowitz's introduces both the Minkowski and Loedel diagrams, he also has chapters on electric circuits and transmission lines that Griffiths doesn't really cover.

Shadowitz does admit and I would agree he tries to appeal to the physicist and engineer, so maybe I am biased being an engineer to his approach, but Shadowitz does introduce a different approach then Griffiths for better or worse as both have their strengths and weaknesses.

If price alone is the deciding factor then it is a no brainer to go with Shadowitz's book as it is considerably less expensive.
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on February 12, 2000
I am a graduate student in Physics and have found this to be a wonderful reference manual to the "Jackson" graduate text. Shadowitz offers great explanations for sometimes complicated mathematical terms. Additionally, he gives valuable, indepth examples for tensors and makes no illogical or complicated jumps in his derivations of other mathematical formulae.
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on May 11, 1998
Book goes beyond classical text(state theory, give minimal amount of related examples, move on, etc..) Author is an educator(not just an instructor) and the strengths of the book are in the extent to which he attempts(and succeeds) to illuminate the subject so that every facet of it is clearly revealed. Well Done!
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on December 13, 1999
When it comes to a Junior-Senior textbook on electromagnetism, electrical engineers and physicists will want a different approach. However, electronics engineering is close to physics and this book comes close to pleasing both groups. Probably the best book on EM theory for electronics engineers is "Fields and Waves in Communication Electronics" by Ramo, Whinnery, and van Duzer. Ramo is the R in the company called TRW. Nonetheless, Shadowitz covers the basics of an EM text for electonics engineers, for example, transmission lines, waveguides, and antenna radiation. Sprinkled throughout the text are interesting tidbits of theoretical physics. The book is in SI units, but he adequately informs the reader about esu and emu units, a discussion of which seems to have become unfortunately banned at some American colleges.
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on July 17, 2015
I guess that the best way to describe this book is this: mixed feelings. Some chapters are absolutely great, some are not, some things are explained beautifuly and some felt completely fussy. This is the general 'feel' I got out of this book, to give you an example: I started reading it from page 1, I thought that his introduction to vector calculus and his examples were just brilliant, but then you read for instance the later chapters on transmission lines, I thought it was quite complicated and tedious to read (math aside), the explanations were not very clear in many cases.

I personally liked his approach of mixing electric and magnetic fields instead of viewing them separately, I think its best to start by understanding both of them than having to go through the entire electric field chapters and then start learning about the magnetic, however it did feel a bit odd to be switching back and forth, but you get used to it. The writting style felt somehow formal, without incurring in something as boring as passive voice, but in my opinion in some cases it made things more difficult to follow, in general I think its a verbose book.

The book covers a lot of topics, including engineering oriented topics, and relativity, however Its my most humble opinion that there are better books for the beginner, I own several EM books (Hayt, Sadiku, Cheng, Ramo, Grant, Griffiths, Schwarz) in general I think that Griffiths book is the best to start learning about EM if you can cope with Griffith's weird notation, I also think that Dan Fleisch's "A Student's Guide to Maxwell Equations" is one of the best introductions to the subject. As for this book by Shadowitz, I felt the notation was pretty standard, nothing wrong with it.

I think this is an okay book, perhaps its not my first choice but I would definitely recommend having it on your shelf, the book itself is quite thick and even if its a paperbound it seems to be made with high quality materials.
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VINE VOICEon August 6, 2013
I was Dr. Shadowitz's student in E+M while he was writing this book(he had already published his book on Special Relativity when I met him). As is the case in most all universities, even the largest, the physics department is usually like a family, very close and friendly and somewhat smaller than other departments, with fewer major students. We had one of the best physics curricula of any university!(Even European university representatives would visit us to see how we handled our curriculum.) Dr. Shadowitz tested out many if not most of the exercises in this book on us with good results. I learned a great deal from him, both in physics and in life. He loved teaching and explained the subject in the most revealing way possible. This book reflects his methods and love of the subject. I hear he is no longer with us. I will miss him.
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on March 28, 2016
This is my absolute favorite book on Electromagnetism. My two undergraduate electromagnetism for physics majors, not including intro E&M, used Griffiths for the primary text. While I do really like Griffith's book, I found the order that Shadowitz introduces Electricity and Magnetism much easier to follow and overall paints a better, more symmetric picture of electromagnetic fields. Unlike all other books I have read (or skimmed) on the topic, Shadowitz is the only text that explains the electric and magnetic fields in parallel, working though the divergence and curl of each so as to simultaneously develop Maxwell's equations. In my opinion, this order of explaining the topic emphasizes the important connections between the electric and magnetic fields and makes it easier to lock the important features of E&M into memory. Also, Shadowitz has THE BEST explanation of plane waves and waveguides (conducting and dielectric) that I have ever read! With over 700 pages, there are TONS of examples and clear, mathematical descriptions for each one. Buy this book! Why wouldn't you for the price??
This is one of my favorite books on physics and I'm sure it will make an excellent reference/review for graduate school.
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on May 15, 2014
First published in 1975, I use this book to understand complex topics that other Physics books explain poorly. I would compare the way Albert Shadowitz writes to how well Linus Pauling (an award winning Chemist) wrote in exploring General Chemistry. You study just the material you need to understand. Shadowitz makes the information accessible because he obviously enjoyed his work.
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on March 16, 2013
I was very excited that dover books are now available for the Kindle, however, technical books such as this are junk when they are poor conversions...many of the formulations and equations contain squares in lieu of the proper symbols, characters, Greek letters, etc. Useless.
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