Since I've first heard about electricity and magnetism, people always said me that the electric and the magnetic field are nothing less than two sides of the same coin. I really wasn't convinced of that. I've entered at college. Nothing. And I took a (pitiful) undergraduate course on Electromagnetism. Nothing. Not even the Maxwell Equations and the explanation about how they demonstrate the existence of EM waves convinced me. It always appeared that The electric and the magnetic field were two separated things, no matter how much relations between them. I tried even graduate books (say, Jackson), and nothing. Then, Here comes the light... Schwartz' chapter about electric field and relativity, where he concludes merely from Coulomb law and Lorentz invariance that MUST BE A MAGNETIC FIELD, then comes with the EM Field Strength tensor and derives (also from Lorentz invariance)... the very Maxwell's equations! Unbelievable! Why didn't they tell me this before? Or, why don't they teach EM like this? All this not to mention the section about an insight over determining nuclear shape from electric quadrupole moments, the tensorial form of EM laws, Multipole expansion, all that with a remarkable physical insight that is so rare in EM texts (maybe other exception is Landau's Classical Theory of Fields). I only regret the absence of a Lagrangian-Hamiltonian formulation for EM, Green's functions, and gauge invariance with his properties and how this reflect in the formulation of EM laws. But I believe that these topics can be well covered in Landau's text (I really hope so, so I don't need to rely on the insight-less text from Jackson). After all, the physical unity, simplicity and beauty of Schwartz's book is nearly unbeatable. 5 stars "cum lauda"!
A beautiful book to wrap up your electrodynamics.Some time ago I read the lectures by Oppenheimer on Electrodynamics (based on notes taken by the student Bryce DeWitt...). I was fascinated by the perfect logic of the approach, which took full profit of relativistic invariance to shorten and clarify the whole theory. I wonder if the book by Melvin Schwartz took Oppenheimer's text as a model. It has the same elegance and logical structure, yet it is a little more leisurely written, being a textbook.It is, so, closer to perfection.
Melvin Schwartz won the Nobel Prize of physics in 1988 by his experiments (with Leon Lederman and Jack Steinberger) on this most elusive of all physical objects, the neutrino. We must be grateful for the fact that he found time to write this precious little book on electrodynamics. It is a gem . I compare it to the very best expositions: Landau-Lifshitz's "Classical Theory of Fields" and the first chapter of the first edition of Heitler's "Quantum Theory of Radiation" .
This book is the best introduction to advanced electromagnetic theory I have ever encountered. The author does a masterly job at simplifying the mathematics without over-simplifying the physics. If you're looking to gain a deep understanding of electromagnetics and its relation to the theory of relativity, this book is for you!
As you start to read the book you will quickly notice a different presentation style. Progressing through the first chapter opens your eyes to this difficult subject. Dr. Melvin Schwartz really shines at explaining this subject. No doubt about it. The clear writing style enables you to read through the author's mind and get good understanding. Each chapter progresses logically to the next one. And the price is hard to beat. This book is great if you study on your own. By the time you finish the book you will have acquired an impressive mastery of this field.