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A book for quantum physics

  1. Nov 13, 2012 #1
    I want to self study quantum mechanics so that I can apply it in both physics and chemistry. However I don't want one written for a layman without any mathematical equations.
    I want one book that will cover everything that will be taught in an introductory undergrad quantum physics course(and even more if possible!). I have heard a lot about Griffith's but I am running low on my pocket money(and won't be getting more any time soon) so I had the following books in mind.

    Pauling-An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics with Applications in Chemistry
    Feynman-Lectures on Physics vol. 3
    Feynman-Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals
    David Bohm-Quantum Theory(Dover Books on Physics)
    Gasiorowicz – Quantum Physics
    French, Taylor – An Introduction to Quantum Physics
    Eisberg, Resnick – Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei and Particles

    I would be buying Feynman lectures on physics vol.3 anyway.
    But apart from that, I want a proper quantum physics book. I am guessing mostly I would like to buy French's version since it was tailored for an MIT introductory course and I have seen that the course itself is pretty awesome.
    I don't think Feynman's one on path integrals is a proper introductory book as it is more of an introduction to path integrals rather than quantum mechanics.
    Mostly I am leaning towards the book by French and Taylor.Is the decision good or should I go for something else???
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Nov 13, 2012 #3
    I know that already. I have even downloaded the book as a PDF from his webpage!!! Does the book cover everything(is it self-sufficient)??? I have not started reading the book yet. Is there anything else you might be able to suggest? Thanks
  5. Nov 13, 2012 #4
    If you can afford it, Zettili is remarkable for self study as he has a section in each chapter devoted to solved problems.
  6. Nov 13, 2012 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    We are here to help, how would I know that you had this reference already? There was no mention in your post about it. In any event, I have no more references that may be of interest.
  7. Nov 13, 2012 #6
    No offense. I was just excited that somebody else was using the same book I was going to use(even though I don't think it's popularly known). I didn't mean to offend you. The exclamatory marks were not to be interpreted as me shouting

    And thanks for the suggestion about Zetilli. I am sure I will check that out. Also does Prof. Binney's book cover and make use of the bra-ket notation? I have seen that quite often and I know it's quite essential to quantum mechanics. But I have no knowledge of it and would love to have a book that introduces and makes extensive use of this notation
  8. Nov 13, 2012 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    some people lile to read Dirac's treatment of quantum mechanics although now it may be dated and not show the more modern interpretations.

    Also Penrose's Road to Reality might be interesting to read as well. Chapter 22 pgs 533-536 talk about Dirac bra-ket notation.
  9. Nov 13, 2012 #8
    I have seen that Penrose's book is quite amazing, however, I want a book centered on quantum mechanics. I find that I am able to afford the paperback version of Zettili's book.
    So keeping in mind that I want a book with lots of content and also Dirac's notation, which should I go for: French,Taylor or Zettili?
  10. Nov 15, 2012 #9
    Hi Dear;

    Greate Greate vote for Principles of Quantum Mechanics by "Shankar"
  11. Nov 15, 2012 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    Try Griffith book: Intro to QM. Although I've never read it it was widely used in our undergraduate school.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  12. Nov 15, 2012 #11


    User Avatar
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    It was used in a graduate class? Really?
  13. Nov 15, 2012 #12
    I can recommend Cohen-Tanoudji's book on QM. One of the best books about physics I've ever read. It's explanations are very complete, and every equation is derived with step-skipping kept at it's minimum. However, that doesn make it a less "to-the-point" book. Sakurai's book is also pretty cool, it covers some more advanced topics that Tanoudji's book does not. That's what I like. Later on, if you're interested in the application of QM to chemistry, you should pick up "Modern Quantum Chemistry" by Szabo/Ostlund. It's a great book, and very cheap (though a bit dated).
  14. Nov 16, 2012 #13
    The book by Cohen worthes recommendation.
  15. Nov 18, 2012 #14
    Guys, no offense, but this just broadens the search even more. I can give you a bit of my background. I am a high school student and want to self-study quantum mechanics and want to learn more about the Dirac notation and learn quantum mech. using the same.
    I have weak prereqs in college level but I can learn the prereqs quickly. I have seen previews of both Zettili's book and French's on Amazon and want to buy one of them.
    I have heard of the books you have recommended but I just want to narrow the search now. I would be buying the books you recommended when I enter college but buying others right now would burn a hole in my pocket!
    I just want an introductory, undergrad-level Quantum Mechanics book(preferably which works with Dirac notation and I would love some rigor in the problems!).
    So which should I go for, French,Taylor or Zettili???
  16. Nov 18, 2012 #15
    Sorry, but I'm about to widen your search still further. 'Quantum Mechanics' by F Mandl. I like it, it explains things well, but it takes a lot of reading. The Eisberg and Resnick is really good, but I find it hard work, and it is expensive. I use it as a reference, whereas the Mandl I can actually read, albeit slowly and with a lot of thinking.

    As to which book is the best it really depends on which you actually prefer in style. It might be a good idea to try to see these books in a library if you can before deciding to buy one. Some styles can be fairly dry and hard to read for one person, but give another person exactly what they were looking for. Good luck!
  17. Nov 18, 2012 #16
    Thanks! I will look into it!
    The problem is that in my city there are very few libraries with science books. I am still hunting for a good one!
  18. Nov 18, 2012 #17


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    Gold Member

    I just wanted to add that regardless of which book you settle on, used copies can easily be found on Amazon and other sites, and that for many books older editions are just fine and even cheaper on the used market. I always buy used if it is an option. My knowledge of quantum mechanics is much less than many folks around here so I will refrain from recommending a book.

    best of luck,

  19. Nov 30, 2012 #18
    Thanks for the advice, Jason! Will keep it in mind before I buy a book
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