I am trying to understand electromagnetism. I would like to pare myself down to the minimum number of necessary concepts.

From my physics education (high school only), I understand that a moving charge creates a magnetic field. The implication is that magnetism is a discrete concept that I also need to understand.

However, is this view actually confusing: is it the case that a magnetic field is a moving charge?

Either way, a link to a primer accessible to someone with a engineering degree level maths would be wonderful. If it is the case magnetism is a moving charge, then an introduction following this approach would be wonderful.

Thank you!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I found A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations to be a good introductory book. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie May 1 '14 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the link @JohnRennie. I'll grant my maths is a little rusty, but the cover alone is fairly intimidating, unless there's a gentle run up to the notation used there :-) $\endgroup$ – Benjohn May 1 '14 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ The problem is that you can't understand magnetic fields without understand Maxwell's equations - at least in principle if not in all their gory detail. You say magnetism is a discrete concept but it isn't. An electromagnetic field can appear as an electric or magnetic field depending on your frame of reference. For the small investment required I would buy the book and have a quick scan through skipping the maths. That will at least give you a starting point. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie May 1 '14 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Benjohn, what would you say is 'engineering degree level' mathematics. Are you comfortable with calculus? $\endgroup$ – Danu May 1 '14 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie The book sounds good, I'll take a look. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Benjohn May 1 '14 at 16:52

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