Lorraine and Corson is the standard E&M textbook in upper division physics at California State University, or at least it was for many years. It is the one I used for my undergraduate work. It is a core prerequisite for senior level physics courses. Generally you take 16 credits of physics per semester and add in one general ed easy course as the 5th to make 18, but this varies.
Lorraine and Corson was WONDERFUL as a course.
I was in my senior year of physics when I got married and moved across the country and well, life took a different turn.
Let me just say right now: I have never met a BIOLOGIST who took this E&M course. Doesn’t mean there aren’t some. I myself eventually became an engineer who shipped 30+ engineering products. But I also went on to study biology, microbiology, and biochemistry.
Let me quote a review from Amazon.com about Lorraine and Corson:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference work.Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2001
This book is intended primarily for students of Physics or Electrical Engineering at the junior or senior levels, although some schools will prefer to use it with first-year
graduate students. The book should also be useful for scientists and engineers who wish to review the subject.
The aim of this book is to give the reader a working knowledge of the basic concepts of electromagnetism. Indeed, as Alfred North Whitehead stated, half a century
ago, “Education is the acquisition of the art of the utilization of knowledge.” This explains the relatively large number of examples and problems. It also explains why
we have covered fewer subjects more thoroughly. For instance, Laplace’s equation is solved in rectangular and in spherical coordinates, but not in cylindrical
A chapter on vectors (Chapter 1), a discussion of Legendre’s differential equation (Section 4.5), an appendix on the technique that involves replacing cos wt by exp jwt,
and an appendix on wave propagation.
After the introductory chapter on vectors, Chapters 2, 3, and 4 describe electrostatic fields, both in a vacuum and in dielectrics. All of Chapter 4 is devoted to the
solution of Laplace’s and of Poisson’s equations.
Chapter 5 is a short exposition of the basic concepts of special relativity, with little reference to electric charges. It requires nothing more, in the way of mathematics,
than elementary differential calculus and the vector analysis of Chapter 1. Chapter 6 contains a demonstration of Maxwell’s equations that is based on Coulomb’s law
and on the Lorentz transformation and which is valid only for the case where the charges move at constant velocities.
Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the conventional approach to the magnetic fields associated with constant and with variable currents. Here, as elsewhere, references to
Chapter 6 may be disregarded.
Chapter 9 contains a discussion of magnetic materials that parallels, to a certain extent, that of Chapter 3 on dielectrics.
In Chapter 10, the Maxwell equation for the curl of B is rediscovered, without using relativity. This is followed by a discussion of the four Maxwell equations, as well
as of some of their more general implications. The point of view is different from that of Chapter 6, and there is essentially no repetition.
The last four chapters, 11 to 14, concern various applications of Maxwell’s equations: plane waves in infinite media in Chapter 11, reflection and refraction in Chapter
12, guided waves in Chapter 13, and radiation in Chapter 14. The only three media considered in Chapters 11 and 12 are perfect dielectrics, good conductors, and
low-pressure ionized gases. Similarly, Chapter 13 is limited to the two simplest types of guided wave, namely the TEM mode in coaxial lines and the TE1,0 mode in
rectangular guides. Chapter 14 discusses electric and magnetic dipoles and quadrupoles, as well as the essential ideas concerning the half-wave antenna, antenna arrays,
and the reciprocity theorem.
For a basic and relatively simple course on electromagnetism, one could study only Chapters 2, 3 (less Sections 3.3, 3.4, 3.8, 3.9, and 3.10), 4 (less Sections 4.4 and
4.5), 7, 8, 9 (less Section 9.3 but conserving the equation v – B = 0), and 10. For a rather advanced course, on the other hand, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 could be
reviewed briefly using the summaries at the end of each chapter. One would then start with Chapter 6, and then go on to Chapter 10 and the following chapters. There
are, of course, many other possibilities.
In Chapter 12, Sections 12.3 and 12.7 could be dispensed with. They involve the application of Fresnel’s equations to particular cases and are not essential for the
remaining chapters. Chapter 13 is instructive, both because of the insight it provides into the propagation of electromagnetic waves and because of its engineering
applications, but it is not required for understanding Chapter 14. Finally, Chapter 14 is based on Chapter 10 and on the first two sections of Chapter 11.