It has now been nearly six years since the publication of the first edition of Field, Force, Energy and
Momentum in Classical Electrodynamics. In the intervening years, I have continued to teach my
electrodynamics course to the incoming class of graduate students at the University of Arizona’s College
of Optical Sciences. This one-semester course, which is based on the first seven chapters of the present
book, covers the fundamental aspects of the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of electromagnetism, aiming to
prepare the students for advanced studies in the various subfields of Optics and Photonics. Each year, I
have had to come up with new problem sets to assign as homework or to ask during examinations. The
new problems are now added at the end of the relevant chapters. Solutions to problems marked with an
asterisk (*) appear in the back of the book under the heading Solutions to Selected Problems.
Also appearing for the first time in this revised edition are the following three chapters: Chapter 10
on Maxwell’s Equations in Spherical Coordinates, Chapter 13 on the Optical Theorem, and Chapter 15
on Electromagnetism and Special Relativity. A new appendix provides an in-depth coverage of the
International System of Units (SI), which is used throughout the book. In addition, Chapter 6 has been
revised to include an alternative derivation of the Kramers-Kronig relations, while Chapter 9 has been
expanded to include discussions of trapped light in cylindrical cavities, electromagnetic angular
momentum, and Mie scattering from cylindrical objects. Several other chapters have also undergone
revisions and adjustments.
All in all, Chapters 1-9, 11, 12 and 14 are derived, in whole or in part, from Chapters 1-12 published
in the previous edition of the present e-book. Chapters 13 and 14 are based on my previously published
papers in the American Journal of Physics and Optics Communications, respectively. These publications
are cited in the footnotes appearing at the end of each chapter. The material in the rest of the book is
original and has not been published elsewhere. I hereby declare that the entire book is free from conflicts
It is my sincere hope that the old material as well as the new features appearing in this revised
edition will provide the reader with a broad perspective on the many fascinating aspects of the classical
theory of electrodynamics.
For their thoughtful comments and questions, as well as suggestions that have
resulted in significant improvements over the first edition, I am grateful to numerous students who have
taken my electrodynamics course during the past six years.
Conflict of Interest:
The author declares no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.
Tucson, June 2017
List of Contributors
College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Many books have been written on classical electromagnetic fields because of the fundamental importance of this field in science and technology and the suite of related university courses. Professor Mansuripur’s Field, Force, Energy and Momentum in Classical Electrodynamics stands apart because of the scope, the historical treatment, and the fundamental stance related to the underlying concepts. In particular, his treatment of momentum and force is especially notable. As someone who thinks about this topic daily, I should say that I see the writing of this book as a valuable contribution. In fact, I am anxious to have a copy available for my own reference.
There are too few choices for books on electromagnetics that are suitable for graduate classes, so this book fulfills an important need. Starting with an introduction to fields, then moving to the theory of electromagnetics, and on to transforms and functions, the stage is set for those with varied backgrounds. I like the inclusion of the Clausius-Mossotti material description and causality implied in the Kramers-Kronig relations because of their importance in the homogenized material parameters. The treatment of Maxwell’s equations for plane waves is particularly useful for both basic understanding and in applications. Solution strategies in various coordinate systems are presented in a natural manner. The discussion of reciprocity provides a mathematical and physical framework that is important at multiple levels, as is the treatment of special relativity. On a lighter note, the cover artwork projects the grand scale of electromagnetic phenomena, and this is also reflected in the many interesting quotes. The book is an excellent choice for a one-semester class, for a two-semester sequence, and as a general reference.
Professor Kevin Webb,
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Masud Mansuripur’s book Field, Force, Energy and Momentum in Classical Electrodynamics is a novel exposition of electrodynamics. Unlike most of the contemporary texts, which start with microscopic electrodynamics of the fundamental fields E and B, it starts from the beginning with Maxwell’s equations for four macroscopic fields E, H, D and B, none of which is considered as more “fundamental” than the others, whose independent sources are free electric charge and current distributions, and fields of polarization and magnetization. In a certain sense, this may be considered as a return to the traditional conceptual framework of electricity and magnetism, but in Mansuripur’s hands it is built in an original way as a coherent and logically consistent theory of electromagnetic phenomena.
This is a graduate-level text, but by the virtue of the logically clear exposition, it should be accessible to students with modest background in electricity and magnetism. It develops nicely all the mathematical tools of trade that are needed in the subject. The numerous problems at the end of each chapter, the solution of some of which is given in an appendix, are pedagogically valuable and instructive.
The breadth of the topics covered is wide, from the fundamentals of the theory, techniques of the solving of Maxwell’s equations, to many of its applications in macroscopic media. The topics devoted to methods and those dealing with specific problems are well balanced. Mansuripur’s book is an excellent graduate text, comparable, but complementary in its approach, to Jackson’s well-known Classical Electrodynamics and Zangwill’s more recent Modern Electrodynamics.
Formerly of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health
Morgantown, West Virginia, USA