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on 21 January 2016
I had been struggling with this stuff for a year at uni and found every book on this subject to be confusing and big. I only realised what maxwells equations actually were when I got this book. people kept talking about them but despite using them i didnt even know which ones were, which ones weren't etc. I find it amazing that noone has put them down in this way before and im grateful this guy did. The equations themselves are actually explained properly which I found a revelation as all other texts seem to think I understand all the notation without even referencing it. No problems with that here. He also uses the normal unit vector operator which many texts like to hide which in the past caused me a lot of trouble.

My only issue is that the answers to the problems are on the internet. This is a bit cheeky as the book is small and they should have just printed them. This is not a cheap book for the size and this is irritating as i like my books to be complete. however I wont knock off a star because this is the only book that serves its purpose. Would recommend
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on 27 February 2017
The emphasis of this book is to communicate the purpose and applications of Maxwell's equations in a lucid and coherent way. Complex ideas are put in straightforward terms, which, combined with the informal and direct writing style, makes this book concise and enjoyable to use.

The format is simple: each of Maxwell's equations is summarised, its components explained, and its applications demonstrated. Each section stands alone, so the reader can pick and choose which parts to read based on his or her existing knowledge; this also makes the book a very capable reference.

Equipped with this book, and a familiarity of vector calculus (the book provides excellent refreshers on relevant vector calculus topics), the dedicated reader should attain a robust and thorough understanding of Maxwell's equations.
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on 7 April 2014
This little book opened doorways for me. As a biochemist I found it a very clear and practical exposition of the mathematics and physical reality that underlies so much of the theory of electricity and magnetism. Teachers might choose to recommend this book to sixth form students and beyond. Non-physics graduates may well find 'A Students Guide' invaluable. I would have appreciated it as an undergraduate, the author aims at a wide audience and, I certainly think, achieves this. It might also serve as a useful reference for those who, like myself, are readers of more populist scientific works.
The explanations of the mathematics used are very clear and lucidly illustrated.

Scientific books offering an understandable and explicit explanation are like gold dust Understanding vector calculus and the physical meaning of concepts like circulation is they key to understanding the mathematical description of so many other physical systems; fluid flow and much more. Reading 'A Students Guide' felt like a stroll through the mathematics, not an uphill slog.

As one reviewer has pointed out - read this book slowly and let the ideas, nature and consequences of the equations sink in, it's worth spending some time on this one.
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on 4 August 2009
I used this book to complement revision for 2 electromagnetism courses- a basic theory course and an advanced course on radio transmission principles.

Ordinary textbooks on electromagnetism face a pedagogic dilemma- too much electrostatics and magnetostatics can be boring and the Maxwell equations do not get enough space; too little and the physical foundations can be skimped on and hence obscured. This book gets around this by concentrating solely on the Maxwell equations and especially on the physical meaning of the integral formulation of the equations.

The text also has a really useful list of books for further reading: I would also recommend the MIT electrical science resources website and the Schaum outline book by Edminster; for a maths methods book that has a physical explanation of vector calculus , see ch 7 of Sokolnikoff & Redheffer; plus volume 2 of Feynman's lectures starts with vector calculus.

My only two reservations, really minor, are that: firstly, arrows above letters are used for 3-vectors whereas I was taught that they represent 4-vectors, whereas for a British audience and compatibility with UK texts, bold type for 3-vectors might be more familiar ; secondly, no mention is made of the magnetic vector potential so maybe, when a reprint is done, it could be included in an appendix.

However, this book is brilliant.
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on 24 February 2010
A complete gem. So often, so-called mathematical "teaching" texts are just mathematicians talking to other mathematicians or geniuses with nothing but pages of terse non-user-friendly proofs and theorems, most of which are impenetrable to many who might otherwise be capable of understanding the subject.

This book sets out to get you to understand the subject, not just regurgitate endless proofs. It is a real teacher helping real learners to understand. Every equation is fully explained and even annotated when necessary. Copious well thought out, clear diagrams and worked examples consistently get the messages through and demolish ambiguity.

To get the best out of this book, you will need a reasonable (not genuis-level) undestanding of multivariate calculus and vector calculus. I can't help feeling that this book represents the writing on the wall for the worst of the old-fashioned style of teaching text. I'm not aware of anythng else like it but I'm pretty sure there will soon be many more books like it. The most important proof this book provides is that Maths is not impenetrable but has simply been traditionally made impenetrable by those who can't or won't explain. This book shows clearly the difference between explanation and mere definitions and proofs.
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on 2 February 2015
Extremely well written book on using Maxwell's equations. Plenty of diagrammatic examples which are generally very well explained. Regrettably didn't use it during my E-mag class but it's certainly helped me solidify my understand this year in EMC. A committed student could easily go from 0 to 60 if they ran through this book in a day or two.Given the depth of explanation you'd have a pretty solid grasp on the fundamentals and be able to use the equations without much trouble.
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on 18 October 2015
Much below expectation. Simple exercises and bare equations. Good if you are really a student and you revise for your exam to pass. Not to good if you try to understand the Maxwell's equation and nature of electromagnetism phenomena. If you know what you are looking for probably you will find more on the Internet. I suppose that better book would be "Feynman's Lectures on Physics"
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on 30 October 2013
Good intro book for undergraduates struggling to come to terms with vector calculus.

I bought it out of interest...I think I understood grad, div and curl enough to get a BSc and PhD in Physics.

I do recall seeing the "new" symbols for the first time in a lecture years ago and initialy thinking "what the...!". This book explains all of that in as basic a manner as its possible to get down to. Recommended.
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on 22 April 2014
Maxwell's equations can be quite difficult to grasp unless (unlike me) you are initially very comfortable with vector calculus.

After reading this I understood vector calculus better than I did from maths books/lectures/Youtube, its compact but doesn't leave necessary things out.

I wouldn't use this book solely, you will need more actual physics that this book gives, but for understanding what the equations are actually SAYING this is great!
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on 23 August 2014
This book is extremely concise and to the point. For me it was very good at developing an intuition of of maxwells equations quickly, but it could have had more in the way of explaining the computation you would need to do to use them. I think that anyone who reads this book without full knowledge of vector calculus should read it alongside the book: Vector Calculus (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series).
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