The current draft of my book really ought to have some motivation in the preface. This is what I was thinking of.
Why you want to read this book.
When you first learned vector algebra you learned how to add and subtract vectors, and probably asked your instructor if it was possible to multiply vectors. Had you done so, you would have been told either “No”, or a qualified “No, but we can do multiplication like operations, the dot and cross products.” This book is based on a different answer, “Yes.” A set of rules that define a coherent multiplication operation are provided.
Were you ever bothered by the fact that the cross product was only defined in three dimensions, or had a nagging intuition that the dot and cross products were related somehow? The dot product and cross product seem to be complimentary, with the dot product encoding a projection operation (how much of a vector lies in the direction of another), and the magnitude of the cross product providing a rejection operation (how much of a vector is perpendicular to the direction of another). These projection and rejection operations should be perfectly well defined in 2, 4, or N dimemsions, not just 3. In this book you will see how to generalize the cross product to N dimensions, and how this more general product (the wedge product) is useful even in the two and three dimensional problems that are of interest for physical problems (like electromagnetism.) You will also see how the dot, cross (and wedge) products are all related to the vector multiplication operation of geometric algebra.
When you studied vector calculus, did the collection of Stokes’s, Green’s and Divergence operations available seem too random, like there ought to be a higher level structure that described all these similar operations? It turns out that such structure is available in the both the language of differential forms, and that of tensor calculus. We’d like a toolbox that doesn’t require expressing vectors as differentials, or resorting to coordinates. Not only does geometric calculus provides such a toolbox, it also provides the tools required to operate on functions of vector products, which has profound applications to electromagnetism.
Were you offended by the crazy mix of signs, dots and cross products in Maxwell’s equations? The geometric algebra form of Maxwells’s equation resolves that crazy mix, expressing Maxwell’s equations as a single equation. The formalism of tensor algebra and differential forms also provide simpler ways of expressing Maxwell’s equations, but are arguably harder to relate to the vector algebra formalism so familiar to electric engineers and physics practitioners. In this book, you will see how to work with the geometric algebra form of Maxwell’s equation, and how to relate these new techniques to familiar methods.