I have to disagree with some of you about undergrad texts by Griffiths. When I was an undergrad, I had courses that used "Intro to Electrodynamics" (for my E+M class) and "Intro to QM" (for my QM class) by Griffiths. I was not all that impressed.
First let me say that I think Griffiths is a highly intelligent person and definitely gifted in physics. However, my biggest complaint about his texts is that while he is aiming to write them for students learning the aforementioned subjects for the first (or second) time, he fails miserably. He provides little examples, most of which are just very basic, and then asks you to do problems that go far beyond those examples. Now don't get me wrong, taking things to the next level is highly important (and required if you expect to be successful in physics in any way), but I think it would be more appropriate to first give students practice at the elementary level rather than hitting them with more advanced problems. The advanced problems are highly important of course, but not until you have completely mastered the basic concepts.
In addition, Griffiths provides answers to only a few randomly picked exercises in the text, and no solutions to any of the problems. Unless you're sly enough to have a copy of the "Instructor's Solutions Manual", you will find it difficult to check your work and thus gauge your understanding of the material.
Also, Griffiths likes to leave a lot of the important results to be discovered in the exercises (mind you, the ones he provides few answers and no solutions to). Some people may think that is worthwhile, as you are forced to discover such entities on your own. But on the other hand, as an author, I think it is HIS job to present and illustrate at least MOST of the important results. Let's be realistic, no one is going to do EVERY problem in his book. And for reference purposes, when I wish to look up a significant result, I would like to have it handy. I don't want to have to solve problem 3.40 (for example) to get it.
I think the best part about Griffiths' books is the occasional humorisms he throws in every now and then. Other than that, I can't say much in favor of his texts. For QM, you'd be better off getting Shankar's "Principles of QM" even if you're an undergrad.
Well that is my opinion, and I realize everyone has their own tastes and preferences. I now use my old Griffiths texts as doorstops. =D
Last edited by Quantum
on Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.