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Electromagnetic Vibrations, Waves, and Radiation

This book is some 40 years old. I, however, found it very instructive and enjoyable. It forms part of the Syllabus of the Lewin MIT 8.03 course. I now understand why.  The book is clearly written. The book is filled with worked examples that are interesting and flow from the text. There is consistent explicit use of units and after examples are used they are put in context of the text,

The book covers: oscillations, waves, electromagnetic radiation, transmission of electromagnetic radiation, reflection, refraction, scattering, interaction of electromagnetic fields with matter, diffraction/interference and coherence. This journey is based on classical physics. The authors, however, are quick to point out the limitations of this approach but defend t he practice based on the reasonableness of the approximation for the scale of domain under consideration and the use of expectation values.

The color of the sky, why gold is yellow and silver shiny gray and the frequency dependence of a number of other phenomena as discussed. One example illustrated the tissue penetration of microwave energy into biological tissues. These were all delightful examples.

I am certain that I am completely ignorant of a number of limitations of this book. I also cannot hope to have deep insights into the necessity of quantum mechanics for the nanoscale understanding. However, the clarity and well organized nature of this 40 year old book has certainly diminished my ignorance in a constructive manner.



Categories: books
  1. May 16, 2013 at 11:34 am
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