Book Review

Title: Electromagnetic Compatibility Handbook
Author: Dr. Kenneth L. Kaiser
Publishers: CRC Press, © 2005
List Price: $149.95
Catalogue Number: 2087
ISBN: 0849320879
Publication Date: September 29, 2004
Number of Pages: 2568
Many have undertaken to supply engineering tools to help us understand the concepts and principles of electromagnetic theory, interference and coupling, and compatibility design. Many of them are very good, and some are a necessity as a reference. However, none have attempted to explain the entire body of Electromagnetic Compatibility in a single book, include computer models, tables of equations and data to supplement the concepts, and cover everything from “Power Loss in Speaker Wire” to “Loss Impedances and Transfer Admittance,” until now.
CRC Press, part of the original Chemical Rubber Company, first published their Handbook of Chemistry and Physics in 1913 as an incentive to those who purchased their rubber aprons. Now in its 85th edition, this handbook remains a reference manual for scientists worldwide. But, CRC Press now covers many areas from Science and Engineering to Forensic Science and Business. And, thanks to the immense work of Dr. Kenneth Kaiser, EMC now has its own reference manual.
Covering over 2500 pages and 30 chapters (not including appendices), the Electromagnetic Compatibility Handbook is an immense work. With a layout in true reference book style, each section can be used as a stand-alone explanation of each topic covered. The book includes many MathCAD programs for solving complex problems. Each chapter includes tables and additional appendices to complete the information given (e.g. Chapter 11 on Transient Behavior in the Frequency Domain has an appendix of 42 pages containing 394 LaPlace Transforms).
In his Preface, Dr. Kaiser gives credit and recommendations of Dr. Clayton Paul’s Introduction to Electromagnetic Compatibility and Dr. Hermann Haus’ and Dr. James Melcher’s Electromagnetic Fields and Energy. However, there are over twenty pages of references and source materials, and many hundreds of documents and books listed in the Reference Chapter. Beyond this, many dozens of undergraduate and graduate students “carefully reviewed the material in this book, locating errors and making valuable suggestions.” This included an EMC college course the summer of 2002 that had a chapter assigned to each student. The student would review the chapter and report back to Dr. Kaiser his or her findings. Many professors, college faculty, and staff gave additional reviews.
Upon first glance of this book, my jaw dropped open and I stood there flipping from page to page. I cannot over state the vast amount of knowledge this book contains. Each subject is covered from a basic point to a most advanced look. Huge equations cover the pages, yet more elementary concepts are explained in the simplest ways. But if you are like me, be forewarned! Opening this book you may find yourself flipping from page to page, concept to concept, and the original issue you wanted to research is long forgotten. There are 36 pages of inductance equations (Ch. 15, App. A), tables of conductive gasketing (Table 24.6), delay and rise times (Tables 12.12-12.15), breakdown strengths of solids and liquids (Table 10.3), and 14 pages of antenna comparisons (Table 30.2). There are talks on the irrelevance of floating a shield, seven triboelectric series, complex permittivity and RF through human fat, and a chapter devoted to the design and use of passive contact probes.
With over 2,500 pages, it would be impossible to review each chapter adequately in this column. Thus, the table of contents is provided below to note the specific topics presented in this book.

Table of Contents
1. EMI Sources (3 pages)
2. Decibel and Approximations (23 pages)
3. Electrical Length (6 pages)
4. Fast Bode Magnitude Plotting (25 pages)
5. Skin Depth, Wire Impedance, and Nonideal Resistors (37 pages)
6. Nonideal Capacitors and Inductors (29 pages)
7. Passive Filters (130 pages)
8. Cable Modeling (106 pages)
9. Transient Behavior in the Time Domain (89 pages)
10. Air Breakdown (102 pages)
11. Transient Behavior in the Frequency Domain (141 pages)
12. Spectra of Periodic and Aperiodic Signals (246 pages)
13. Transmission Lines and Matching (110 pages)
14. Passive Contact Probes (19 pages)
15. Inductance, Magnetic Coupling, and Transformers (204 pages)
16. Magnetic Materials and a Few Devices (77 pages)
17. Baluns and Balanced Circuits (81 pages)
18. Cable Shielding and Crosstalk (93 pages)
19. Radiated Emissions and Susceptibility (62 pages)
20. Conducted Emissions and Susceptibility (42 pages)
21. Plane Wave Shielding (52 pages)
22. Electric Field Shielding (48 pages)
23. Magnetic Field Shielding (120 pages)
24. Additional Shielding Concepts (76 pages)
25. Test Chambers (43 pages)
26. Floating Metal and Guard Electrodes (32 pages)
27. Electrostatic Discharge (213 pages)
28. Grounding (85 pages)
29. Circuit Board Layout for EMC (37 pages)
30. Antennas (80 pages)
Appendix A-Summary of the Three Major Coordinate Systems (12 pages)
Appendix B-Definitions for Common and Uncommon Functions (5 pages)
Appendix C-Conversion, Unit and Notation Tables (21 pages)
Appendix D-Helpful Mathematical Relationships (4 pages)
References (20 pages)

Anyone who is seriously working in the EMC and ESD fields will need to consider seeing this book. I expect it should become a standard reference book for electromagnetic compatibility design and testing, as well as covering electrostatic discharge issues. It is both complex and advanced, but with enough basic materials to be useful to a more novice engineer or technician. As for me, I have gladly cleared a space on my desk, front, and center, where this book will now remain within arm’s reach.


About the Author of Electromagnetic Compatibility Handbook: Dr. Ken Kaiser, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, specializes in electromagnetic compatibility and applied electrostatics. He has worked for Bell Laboratories as a design engineer, the U.S. government as a project manager, Terronics Development Corporation as a research and development engineer, and Purdue University as a researcher and instructor. He is an electromagnetic compatibility consultant. He has an Extra Class Amateur Radio License and a First Class Commercial Radio License with a Radar Endorsement. Dr. Kenneth L. Kaiser’s interest in electrical engineering began in high school with his involvement in amateur radio. While obtaining a strong theoretical background in a broad number of fields in electrical engineering, he obtained additional inspiration and practical experience while working in several non-academic positions. Since obtaining his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University, he has focused his attention on the researching of topics of personal and industrial interest, on effective teaching methods, and on the writing of the book Electromagnetic Compatibility Handbook. He is a member of the IEEE and the Electrostatics Society of America. He is currently at Kettering University (formerly GMI Engineering & Management Institute), continuing with his research and stimulating his students to excel.

About the Author of this Book Review: Patrick G. André received his physics degree in 1982 from Seattle University. He has worked in the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) field for 21 years. He is a NARTE Certified Engineer in both EMC and ESD (Electrostatic Discharge). He has worked in the military and aerospace environment for the entire 21 years, and worked in the commercial electronics environment for the last ten. Patrick has a strong ability in the test and measurement area of EMC. He is president of André Consulting, Incorporated. Patrick has been a member of the IEEE EMC Society for 20 years, serving as chairman, vice chairman and arrangements chairman of the Puget Sound Section. Currently he is the Chairman of the Seattle EMC Chapter. He also works for the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Pro A/V Incorporated as a Sound Design Engineer. He may be reached at

The following is an interview with Dr. Kaiser:
Q: How long did this take you?
A: When looking back at my notes, I realized that I began writing in 1990. However, as my wife says and has video taped during the holidays, around 1995 I began to work seriously on the book.
Q: What was your motivation for writing such a mountain of work?
A: In high school, the number of approximations used in EMC fascinated me. Later, I became interested in the relationship between these approximations and classical electromagnetic and circuit theory. If there had been a book documenting and explaining these relationships, this book would not have been written! It was my interest in these relationships and my desire to contribute to the field, which led me to begin to outline my book even while in graduate school. As I began my teaching and research career, I began to feel it would also be important to incorporate tables (including updating, checking, and referencing their elements) within a single book for the topics covered. By having a single author, I believe a book with a consistent style and nomenclature is created. I knew this would be a large time-consuming project since the book is both a reference and textbook.
On a personal note, paraphrasing from a popular book, I know “my nature” and I am following my “path.” I enjoy working on large, challenging projects that are unique. I also have a great deal of admiration for finely crafted works, including books, art, and buildings.
Q: How do you feel about what you wrote?
A: I am very satisfied with it and hope others find it useful. I use this one book for courses in EMC, advanced circuits, and introductory and advanced electromagnetics. This makes the book cost effective for students.
Since the book’s publication, I have located a few syntax and technical errors. I knew that the “new car” would eventually be scratched! On my web site,, I personally keep up-to-date corrections. Also included are other comments and hundreds of student problems. Furthermore, CRC allowed me to include for downloading at this site all of the MathCAD programs (as a 2000 worksheet and an earlier student-version worksheet) contained in the book. EMC

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