Fresh approaches to catching waves

Electromagnetic Waves - Introductory Electromagnetics
November 24, 2000

Both these texts cater for students who need to study electromagnetism and electromagnetic waves but they are aimed at different programme levels. Each one is well prepared, well written, and well presented.

Z. Popovic and B. D. Popovic's Introductory Electromagnetism , avowedly for students of physics and of electrical engineering, fulfils the promise of its title. Three-quarters of its length deals with the methods used in developing the concepts of electromagnetism to form the basis of Maxwell's equations. Once those equations have been derived, electromagnetic waves are shown to be a consequence of their form. Then the properties and behaviour of the waves are used to outline briefly the theory of waveguides and of antennas. Each of the 25 chapters is interspersed with worked examples and appended by a considerable number of problems. In addition, the authors introduce many illustrative applications of electromagnetism so that interest is maintained. Their book could well serve as the basis of a first module in electromagnetism or as supplementary reading. It should be examined by lecturers giving such a module, who might find it refreshes their approach.

Electromagnetic Waves also lives up to its title. Once Maxwell's equations have been stated in a brief first chapter its subject is solely electromagnetic waves, treated in considerable detail. Electromagnetic wave behaviour, first in unbounded media and then at surfaces, leads to the development of wave-guide theory. The final chapter discusses the elements of interactions between waves and matter and of their propagation from simple antennas. Because the text is aimed at the equivalent of British final-year electrical engineering and physics students, the mathematics of electromagnetic waves is provided in detail; the physics underlying the topics is developed as well. This book could form the basis of a final-year electromagnetism module or provide valuable supplementary reading for such a module.

These two texts complement one another well and would provide a solid course in electromagnetism and electromagnetic waves. The chances of their adoption in British courses might have been improved had they been published in paperback.


David Williams was formerly senior lecturer in physics, University of Loughborough.

Electromagnetic Waves: First edition

Author - Umran S. Inan and Aziz S. Inan
ISBN - 0 201 36179 5
Publisher - Prentice Hall
Price - £32.99
Pages - 556

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