David J. Griffiths


David Jeffrey Griffiths (born December 5, 1942) is an American physicist and educator. He worked at Reed College from 1978 through 2009, becoming the Howard Vollum Professor of Science before his retirement.

David J. Griffiths
David Griffiths giving autograph.jpg
Griffiths signing autographs for students at IIT Kanpur
Born (1942-12-05) 5 December 1942 (age 80)
Alma materHarvard University
Known forUndergraduate textbooks
Scientific career
FieldsParticle physics
InstitutionsReed College
ThesisCovariant Approach to Massless Field Theory in the Radiation Gauge (1970)
Doctoral advisorSidney Coleman


Griffiths is a graduate of The Putney School and was trained at Harvard University (B.A., 1964; M.A., 1966; Ph.D., 1970). His doctoral work Covariant Approach to Massless Field Theory in the Radiation Gauge on theoretical particle physics was supervised by Sidney Coleman. He is principally known as the author of three highly regarded textbooks for undergraduate physics students: Introduction to Elementary Particles (published in 1987, second edition published 2008), Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (published in 1995, third edition published 2018), and Introduction to Electrodynamics (published in 1981, fourth edition published in 2012).

Awards, honorsEdit

He was the recipient of the 1997 Robert A. Millikan award reserved for "those who have made outstanding scholarly contributions to physics education".[1][2]

In 2009 he was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society, cited "For advancing the upper level physics curriculum through the writing of leading textbooks and through his contributions to the American Journal of Physics in many editorial roles and as an author."[3]


  • Griffiths, David (2008). Introduction to Elementary Particles (Second, Revised ed.). Wiley-VCH. ISBN 978-3-527-40601-2.
  • Griffiths, David J. (2012). Introduction to Electrodynamics (Fourth ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-321-85656-2.
  • Griffiths, David J.; Schroeter, Darrell F. (2018). Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Third ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-18963-8.
  • Griffiths, David J. (2012). Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Physics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-60217-5.[4]

The most recent edition of each book is generally regarded as a standard undergraduate text.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Griffiths, David (December 1997). "Millikan Lecture 1997: Is there a text in this class?". American Journal of Physics. 65 (12): 1141–1143. Bibcode:1997AmJPh..65.1141G. doi:10.1119/1.18777. Retrieved May 22, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ List of Robert A. Millikan Award Winners at the American Association of Physics Teachers website
  3. ^ "New APS Fellows Nominated from the Forum of Education". APS Physics, Forum on Education. Spring 2010.
  4. ^ Abernathy, William (September 2013). "Review of Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Physics by David Griffiths". Reed Magazine. 92 (3).
  5. ^ "Notes from the Outside Special: Meet David J. Griffiths" (PDF). The Dilated Times: The newsletter of the Drew University Society of Physics Students. Vol. 13, no. 2. Spring 2003. pp. 4–5.

External linksEdit

  • Griffiths's web page
  • Lecture: The charge distribution on a conductor
  • "... could teach physics to gerbils."
  • David Griffiths at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • David Griffiths Lecture, Techfest 2012, IIT Bombay - YouTube