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Classical Electrodynamics

Part II


Robert G. Brown

Duke University Physics Department
Durham, NC 27708-0305


I'd like to dedicate these notes to the memory of Larry C. Biedenharn. Larry was my Ph.D. advisor at Duke and he generously loaned me his (mostly handwritten or crudely typed) lecture notes when in the natural course of events I came to teach Electrodynamics for the first time. Most of the notes have been completely rewritten, typeset with latex, changed to emphasize the things that I think are important, but there are still important fragments that are more or less pure Biedenharn, in particular the lovely exposition of vector spherical harmonics and Hansen solutions (which a student will very likely be unable to find anywhere else).

I'd also like to acknowledge and thank my many colleagues at Duke and elsewhere who have contributed ideas, criticisms, or encouragement to me over the years, in particular Mikael Ciftan (my ``other advisor'' for my Ph.D. and beyond), Richard Palmer and Ronen Plesser.

Copyright Notice
Copyright Robert G. Brown 1993, 2007


This set of ``lecture notes'' is designed to support my personal teaching activities at Duke University, in particular teaching its Physics 318/319 series (graduate level Classical Electrodynamics) using J. D. Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics as a primary text. However, the notes may be useful to students studying from other texts or even as a standalone text in its own right.

It is freely available in its entirety online at$\sim$rgb/Class/phy319.php

as well as through Lulu's ``book previewer'' at

(where one can also purchase an inexpensive clean download of the book PDF in Crown Quarto size - 7.444 $\times$ 9.681 inch pages - that can be read using any PDF browser or locally printed).

In this way the text can be used by students all over the world, where each student can pay (or not) according to their means. Nevertheless, I am hoping that students who truly find this work useful will purchase either the PDF download or the current paper snapshot, if only to help subsidize me while I continue to write more inexpensive textbooks in physics or other subjects.

These are real lecture notes, and they therefore have errors great and small, missing figures (that I usually draw from memory in class), and they cover and omit topics according to my own view of what is or isn't important to cover in a one-semester course. Expect them to change without warning as I add content or correct errors. Purchasers of a paper version should be aware of its imperfection and be prepared to either live with it or mark up their own copies with corrections or additions as need be in the lecture note spirit, as I do mine. The text has generous margins, is widely spaced, and contains scattered blank pages for students' or instructors' own use to facilitate this.

I cherish good-hearted communication from students or other instructors pointing out errors or suggesting new content (and have in the past done my best to implement many such corrections or suggestions).

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Robert G. Brown 2007-12-28