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Covariant Electrodynamics

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Covariant Electrodynamics

A Concise Guide

A notoriously difficult subject, covariant electrodynamics is nonetheless vital for understanding relativistic field theory. John M. Charap’s classroom-tested introduction to the mathematical foundations of the topic presents the material in an approachable manner.

Charap begins with a historical overview of electrodynamics and a discussion of the preliminary mathematics one needs in order to grasp the advanced and abstract concepts underlying the theory. He walks the reader through Maxwell’s four equations, explaining how they were developed and demonstrating how they are applied. From there, Charap moves through the other components of electrodynamics, such as Lorentz transformations, tensors, and charged particle behavior. At each point, he carefully works through the mathematics, applies the concepts to simple physical systems, and provides historical context that makes clear the connections among the theories and the mathematicians responsible for developing them. A concluding chapter reviews the history of electrodynamics and points the way for independent testing of the theory.

Thorough, evenly paced, and intuitive, this friendly introduction to high-level covariant electrodynamics is a handy and helpful addition to any physicist’s toolkit.