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1. It is written by a real expert in the field

2. It is modern (ie no more than a couple of years old)

3. It is readable

4. Aimed at somebody with an undergraduate degree in physics but somewhat rusty!

Many thanks!

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- Thread starter wavering
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Bransden and Joachain, and it really helped me solidify what I had learned in class. Dirac's book is great for people who already have a good foundation in calculus and linear algebra, but it might not be ideal for someone who is just getting started. In Summary, Dirac's book is a great book for someone who is already familiar with linear algebra and calculus.

- #1

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1. It is written by a real expert in the field

2. It is modern (ie no more than a couple of years old)

3. It is readable

4. Aimed at somebody with an undergraduate degree in physics but somewhat rusty!

Many thanks!

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- #2

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Ballentine's book

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malawi_glenn said:Ballentine's book

I assume that this is it:

"Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development (Paperback) by Leslie E. Ballentine"

I note it was published ten years ago - has anything fundamental changed in those ten years or is this up to date enough?

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It physical properties? Or its philosophical properties?

Quantum mechanics is really really old, and if one want's to learn the basics, both about Copenhagen interpretation and Bohm - interpretation, older books are just fine. QM is not a subject that changes much nowadays. All theorems and formalism are from the 1920's so it doesen't matter if you get a book from the 60's of 2005.

If you instead wanted a book on nanophysics or string theory, then date matters more since those are areas of extensive and active research today.

Other options are Sakurai's Modern Quantum mechanics, Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics or Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications by Zettili.

Personally I have used Sakurai mostly, and I like the others too. But all of these books are quite pragmatic, they are for the working physicist - not in first hand the philosophical thinking physicist. That is why you should specify your aim with this Quantum Mechanics book.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/0198520115/?tag=pfamazon01-20

This is the best book on the subject ever written.

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malawi_glenn said:What is your aim in studying Quantum mechanics?

I have just read John Gribbin's "In search of Schrodinger's cat" which was written in 1980 and have a few questions and observations i thought I may make on this board or elsewhere but did not wish to do so until I had a modern take.

Maybe I will just do a post and risk ridicule ...

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This is an excellent book and the one I learned QM with. However it should be noted that it has no exercises.Count Iblis said:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0198520115/?tag=pfamazon01-20

This is the best book on the subject ever written.

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I'm curious about Dirac's book. I haven't read it myself, but a lot of people seem to really like it. E.g. in the book "Quantum Gravity", Carlo Rovelli writes "Textbooks on quantum theory are numerous. I think the best of all is the first of them: Dirac [148], because of Dirac's crystal-clear thinking."

Is Dirac's book a good introductory text, or should it be considered a "graduate" book, like Sakurai or Ballentine?

(The term "graduate" seems to have a different meaning to people in the U.S.A. than to us Swedes. We use it about stuff you'd study in your fifth year at the university, not about stuff you'd study in your third year (like Sakurai)).

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As I said, it was my introductory text. However, by the time I read it, I already had a master's degree in math and I had focused my studies on linear operators in Banach space. This meant that I had no learning curve in understanding many of the concepts and notation that might be new material to undergraduates. Dirac has a talent for making things clear.Fredrik said:Is Dirac's book a good introductory text, or should it be considered a "graduate" book, like Sakurai or Ballentine?.

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I wanted to learn the formalism of quantum mechanics right from the start, so what I did was lend Dirac's book from the library and learn the theory from that book. I did the homework exercises we were supposed to do from the book by Bransden.

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A good book for the upper level undergraduate students could be this book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0201410346/?tag=pfamazon01-20

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Fredrik said:Is Dirac's book a good introductory text, or should it be considered a "graduate" book, like Sakurai or Ballentine?

Dirac's book can be considered an introductory text for a sophisticated reader who already has a good knowledge of advanced classical physics, i.e. it would not be a suitable introduction for most undergraduates.

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Count Iblis said:... QM is an old theory by now.

I thought that in the last 20/30 years there may be new ways of looking at QM eg Emergent Properties and Information Theory and things I have never heard of ...?

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wavering said:I thought that in the last 20/30 years there may be new ways of looking at QM eg Emergent Properties and Information Theory and things I have never heard of ...?

Well, that can be considered Applications of QM, but I don't think there is any book that cover ALL applications of QM. Maybe 2 or 3 books will cover the most.

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