For modeling,design and optimization purposes relative to electrodynamic systems, what text book(s) would be ideal?

I'm a mechanical engineer, and during my undergrad I used David J. Griffiths introduction to electrodynamics, which was very insightful and seem inclusive and interesting(I read it all beyond the course's requirements), and use it for reference. However, should I consider other texts?

I've came across Jackson's book, and honestly...I wasn't able to learn much beyond the first chapter.

  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like you do NOT want a physics book but something that addresses modeling and simulation of EM system. One that comes to mind is Computational Electromagnetics for RF and microwave Engineering by David Davidson. $\endgroup$ – ggcg Dec 19 '18 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ As a follow up to ggcg's comment, could you elaborate on your purpose? When you say "modeling", are you interested in the theory of computational electromagnetics, or will you simply be using existing modeling software for EM design? $\endgroup$ – LedHead Dec 19 '18 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ggcg I do want a physics book for two reasons; 1) A deeper understanding, and 2) A reference for future designs. Jackson's mathematical approach of describing the concepts was beyond me, I felt as if there could be more to it that Griffiths could have missed out on? - Thank you for that recommendation I will keep it in mind. $\endgroup$ – EMaether Dec 19 '18 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ @LedHead Both! In addition, to the primary reason of review/reference if I forget things. Because I do have an interest in EM beyond my undergrad course. $\endgroup$ – EMaether Dec 19 '18 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ Physics books do not generally cover modeling, design and optimization of systems which is exactly what you were asking about. Griffiths and Jackson are among the best texts out there. Straton is another old classic (maybe out of print by you can get used copies on Amazon). The one I mentioned is very good. That + a physics book cover a lot of ground. $\endgroup$ – ggcg Dec 19 '18 at 11:27

Here's my attempt to make an answer from the extended comments.

Physics texts like Jackson or Griffiths may not be much help w/r to modeling and simulation, design and optimization studies for systems. They are meant to teach the first principles approach to understanding fundamental physics. They will rely heavily on exact solutions, special function expansion and abstractions of problems with a bent towards understanding grand ultimate truths about nature. If you are looking for modeling and simulation resources you may need to go outside physics and search for specialized numerical methods for various modeling paradigms.

For solving the field equations with boundary conditions you have a variety of approaches:

  1. Exact solutions, method of images

  2. Finite difference and finite difference - time domain

  3. Finite Element Method

  4. Special function expansions

  5. Boundary element method or method of moments.

Each has it's virtues and difficulties. And there are some subtleties that you won't learn about in the textbook lit. For RF I would recommend the following:

  1. Computational Electromagnetics for RF and microwave Engineering by David Davidson

  2. The Method of Moments in Electromagnetics by Walton Gibson

  3. Field Computation by Method of Moments

  4. RF Engineering for Wireless Networks by Dobkin

  5. Radar Cross Section by Knott et al

Additional good references for modeling and simulation of almost anything:

  1. A first course in Numerical Analysis of Differential Equations by A. Iserles

  2. Numerical Recipes by W. Press et al

  3. Methods of Theoretical Physics by Morse and Feshbach

You can tell by the titles what kind of work I do but don't turned off. They are all pretty general in the physics and treatment of modeling but the examples are clearly industry specific. Despite being fairly complete there are pitfalls. Davidson's book covers almost every technique at the surface but some presentations are unstable (and there is a disclaimer), being presented for "educational purposes". There is active research on developing fast, stable methods. One that comes to mind for solving the time-dependent Maxwell's equations is Yee's method, now a very famous staple in numerics. You can find the original article online for free.

I hope that helps.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much! Saved this for future reference. $\endgroup$ – EMaether Dec 20 '18 at 10:13

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