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The Best Electromagnetism Book - 2021

Last updated on September 8, 2020
Best Electromagnetism Book

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Our Picks For The Top Electromagnetism Books

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

Robert Becker The Body Electric: Electromagnetism And The Foundation Of Life

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Robert Becker

The Body Electric

Overall Take

Thought-ProvokingThis electromagnetism book explores regeneration and its relationship in regard to electrical currents in living things.

  Runner Up

Slater & Frank Electromagnetism

Slater & Frank

Electromagnetism

Overall Take

Great Introductory to ElectromagnetismOpt for this electromagnetism book if you're searching for introductory materials on the subject.

  We Also Like

Purcell & Morin Electricity & Magnetism

Purcell & Morin

Electricity & Magnetism

Overall Take

Hundreds of IllustrationsVisual learners will appreciate this electromagnetism book, which contains hundreds of illustrations throughout its 853 pages.

  Strong Contender

R. Shankar Fundamentals of Physics II: Electromagnetism, Optics & Quantum Mechanics

R. Shankar

Fundamentals of Physics II

Overall Take

Ideal for AP Physics StudentsCollege-level students who have already taken a basic physics course can move on to this electromagnetism book.

Alicia Bodine
Guide written by Alicia Bodine
Last updated on September 8, 2020

Electromagnetism falls under the category of physics. While many once thought that electricity and magnetism were separate forces, scientists uncovered that the two are actually linked. First, a magnetic field is created by an electric current. Second, a voltage is produced when a magnetic field changes.

While high school science textbooks include chapters on electromagnetism, chances are you won’t dive deeper into the subject until you enter college. Of course, anyone is welcome to purchase an electromagnetism book to explore the subject on their own. When shopping for the best electromagnetism book, consider the following features.

Start with an introductory electromagnetism book. This allows you to build a firm understanding of the most important concepts. Slater & Frank’s “Electromagnetism” is an excellent place to start. The book is divided up into three main sections. First, students are taught about electrostatics. Second, magnetostatics are covered. Third, electromagnetic theory is explained. It’s helpful if the reader already has a knowledge of calculus and differential equations before reading this book.

Check the layout of the electromagnetism book next. For example, Purcell & Morin’s “Electricity & Magnetism” contains hundreds of illustrations to further demonstrate the lessons being taught. The book also features discussions of real-life applications and more than 600 end-of-chapter problems and exercises.

Look for material on electromagnetism that is thought provoking. For example, Robert Becker’s “The Body Electric” is written in a way that is easy to understand, yet it’s designed to make you think. It’s not a scholastic textbook, so it’s best for more curious readers. What the author does is take the reader through a scientific journey that challenges some of today’s modern theories.

Move on to more advanced electromagnetism textbooks once you’ve mastered the basics. R. Shankar’s “Fundamentals of Physics II” includes electromagnetism, optics and quantum mechanics. The course gradually moves on to more complex topics. It expects that the reader has already taken, and mastered, Physics I. Reader’s will be able to watch the author’s complementary teaching lessons on his YouTube channel.

The Best Electromagnetism Books

1
  Best Overall

Robert Becker The Body Electric: Electromagnetism And The Foundation Of Life

If you're looking for an electromagnetism book that is thought-provoking, this is it. The author takes you through a scientific journey that challenges some of today's modern theories. While this book contains technical explanations, it's also written in a way that the average learner can easily understand.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Robert Becker
Model
2
  Runner Up

Slater & Frank Electromagnetism

Students who've never studied electromagnetism before will want to start with this introductory book. It begins with basic material on electrostatics and magnetostatics. The later half of the book focuses on electromagnetic theory.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Slater & Frank
Model
3
  We Also Like

Purcell & Morin Electricity & Magnetism

Students who use this electromagnetism book will find it an excellent book for beginners. The many illustrations and discussions of real-life applications allow students to fully grasp what they're learning. You'll find 600 end-of-chapter problems and exercises that can be used to identify any concepts you're having trouble with.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Purcell & Morin
Model
4
  Strong Contender

R. Shankar Fundamentals of Physics II: Electromagnetism, Optics & Quantum Mechanics

Included in this electromagnetism book are the following topics: electromagnetism, optics and quantum mechanics. The course is easy to follow and ensures students have a full grasp of the fundamentals before moving on to more complex topics. The author also has teaching sessions that complement the lessons on his YouTube channel.

Features


Specifications

Brand
R. Shankar
Model
5
  Best for Advanced Students

Jerrold Franklin Classical Electromagnetism: Second Edition

If you already have an understanding of the basic laws of electricity and magnetism, this electromagnetism book is an excellent choice. Each chapter is neatly laid out with figures and formulas clearly displayed. There's a problems section at the end of each chapter, so you can practice what you've learned.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Jerrold Franklin
Model

Our Electromagnetism Book Buying Guide

Electromagnetism falls under the category of physics. While many once thought that electricity and magnetism were separate forces, scientists uncovered that the two are actually linked. First, a magnetic field is created by an electric current. Second, a voltage is produced when a magnetic field changes.

While high school science textbooks include chapters on electromagnetism, chances are you won’t dive deeper into the subject until you enter college. Of course, anyone is welcome to purchase an electromagnetism book to explore the subject on their own. When shopping for the best electromagnetism book, consider the following features.

Start with an introductory electromagnetism book. This allows you to build a firm understanding of the most important concepts. Slater & Frank’s “Electromagnetism” is an excellent place to start. The book is divided up into three main sections. First, students are taught about electrostatics. Second, magnetostatics are covered. Third, electromagnetic theory is explained. It’s helpful if the reader already has a knowledge of calculus and differential equations before reading this book.

Check the layout of the electromagnetism book next. For example, Purcell & Morin’s “Electricity & Magnetism” contains hundreds of illustrations to further demonstrate the lessons being taught. The book also features discussions of real-life applications and more than 600 end-of-chapter problems and exercises.

Look for material on electromagnetism that is thought provoking. For example, Robert Becker’s “The Body Electric” is written in a way that is easy to understand, yet it’s designed to make you think. It’s not a scholastic textbook, so it’s best for more curious readers. What the author does is take the reader through a scientific journey that challenges some of today’s modern theories.

Move on to more advanced electromagnetism textbooks once you’ve mastered the basics. R. Shankar’s “Fundamentals of Physics II” includes electromagnetism, optics and quantum mechanics. The course gradually moves on to more complex topics. It expects that the reader has already taken, and mastered, Physics I. Reader’s will be able to watch the author’s complementary teaching lessons on his YouTube channel.

DWYM Fun Fact

Below are a few fun facts about electromagnetism:

  • Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist who taught at the University of Copenhagen. He is credited with discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism. In fact, he demonstrated the relationship during a lecture in 1820 using a magnetic needle and a current-carrying wire.
  • The electromagnetic spectrum goes from 1 hertz to 1025 hertz.
  • Did you know there’s a special train in China that uses a Transrapid system to transport individuals to the Pudong Airport? What’s special about this train is that it’s able to travel without ever touching the tracks! Thanks to electromagnets, it remains suspended in the air.
  • Joseph Henry, a professor at Albany Academy, was responsible for producing the first electromagnetic motor.

The Electromagnetism Book Tips and Advice

  • When searching for the best electromagnetism book, start with a version that teaches basic physics. You can always build on your knowledge from there; however, you’ll find it hard to keep up with more advanced books if you don’t have a solid grasp of the basic fundamentals.
  • Consider using free online lectures to supplement the materials in your electromagnetism book. YouTube is flooded with professors who post their teaching sessions for their students. Since the videos are public, anyone can watch them.
  • If you have trouble with certain concepts in your electromagnetism book, you may wish to hire a tutor. Sometimes all it takes is another individual to explain a problem in a new way for the switch to flip.
  • As you prepare to take an electromagnetism course, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. A notebook and pencil are needed to work out problems. Some exercises will also require the use of a scientific calculator.
  • When purchasing an electromagnetism book, you’ll find paperback versions are much cheaper than hardback. In some cases, the books are available at a discounted rate as an ebook. Another factor that affects price is whether the book is designed to be used as a college textbook, or simply for your own enjoyment. You’ll find Robert Becker’s “The Body Electric” and Slater & Frank’s “Electromagnetism” are the most affordable of the bunch. R. Shankar’s “Fundamentals of Physics II” has a more moderate price, while Purcell & Morin’s “Electricity & Magnetism” comes in with the highest price tag.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading financial publications. She's also a certified Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach.