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Alternative Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics book

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Hi everyone, was just wondering what people think is a good undergraduate QM book is as opposed to Griffiths. I've read through it, and I have looked and many people say it is good for people who've never been exposed to QM before, but when it comes to solving problems I struggle a lot, and often don't even know where to start. I asked my prof if they had any recommendations, and they said it's hard because outside of Griffiths the notation is very different, but she said Sakurai would be her choice. I see most people saying Sakurai's is a graduate level book, but my prof said he has two versions, where one was advanced, but the only results I found were the one that everyone considers grad level, and then Advanced Quantum Mechanics, which doesn't seem like what she was talking about, so I'm kinda stuck. Can I use Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, or are there better alternatives? Any other general advice is much appreciated too, thanks!!
 

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  • #2
PeroK
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Hi everyone, was just wondering what people think is a good undergraduate QM book is as opposed to Griffiths. I've read through it, and I have looked and many people say it is good for people who've never been exposed to QM before, but when it comes to solving problems I struggle a lot, and often don't even know where to start. I asked my prof if they had any recommendations, and they said it's hard because outside of Griffiths the notation is very different, but she said Sakurai would be her choice. I see most people saying Sakurai's is a graduate level book, but my prof said he has two versions, where one was advanced, but the only results I found were the one that everyone considers grad level, and then Advanced Quantum Mechanics, which doesn't seem like what she was talking about, so I'm kinda stuck. Can I use Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, or are there better alternatives? Any other general advice is much appreciated too, thanks!!
This question has been asked on here a number of times. If you search you will find a lot of suggestions and discussion on Sakurai.

Sakurai assumes you have seen wave mechanics before. From page 100:

"It is assumed that the reader of this book has some experience solving the time-dependent and time-independent wave equations. He or she should be familiar with the time evolution of a Gaussian wave packet ...; should be able to solve one-dimensional transmission-reflection problems ...". And so on.

This is all material covered in the early chapters of Griffiths, for example.

Are you struggling on the problems in Griffiths?
 
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This question has been asked on here a number of times. If you search you will find a lot of suggestions and discussion on Sakurai.

Sakurai assumes you have seen wave mechanics before. From page 100:

"It is assumed that the reader of this book has some experience solving the time-dependent and time-independent wave equations. He or she should be familiar with the time evolution of a Gaussian wave packet ...; should be able to solve one-dimensional transmission-reflection problems ...". And so on.

This is all material covered in the early chapters of Griffiths, for example.

Are you struggling on the problems in Griffiths?
Yeah I would say I'm struggling with the problems in Griffiths, mostly on infinite/finite square well problems, and solving analytically with hermite polynomials is something I have a tough time with too.
 
  • #4
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There are few if any textbooks at a lower level than Griffiths. If you are struggling with problems - particularly infinite square well -are you sure your math background is where it needs to be?
 
  • #5
vanhees71
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I'm a bit in doubt about this QM textbook by Griffiths, because we have many undergraduate-level students in this forum who get confused by it. From the few glances I had at it, I've not the impression that it's of particularly low level. It seems to me that it's pretty much the somewhat outdated "wave-mechanics only" approach with an overemphasis on the time-independent Schrödinger equation. I'd guess that any of the classical older textbooks are way better to understand than this. My favorites of this kind of intro QM books are Blokhinzev, Messiah, Sommerfeld, and Gottfried.
 
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I'm a bit in doubt about this QM textbook by Griffiths, because we have many undergraduate-level students in this forum who get confused by it. From the few glances I had at it, I've not the impression that it's of particularly low level. It seems to me that it's pretty much the somewhat outdated "wave-mechanics only" approach with an overemphasis on the time-independent Schrödinger equation. I'd guess that any of the classical older textbooks are way better to understand than this. My favorites of this kind of intro QM books are Blokhinzev, Messiah, Sommerfeld, and Gottfried.
Blokhintsev has a few QM books. Which one are you referring to?

1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007DONM6/?tag=pfamazon01-20
2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/9027701040/?tag=pfamazon01-20
3. https://www.amazon.com/dp/9027701059/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
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vanhees71
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Sure, my favorite undergrad book also still is Sakuray&Tuan (the revised edition). I listed above the "older-fashioned" "wave-mechanics-first (and sometimes only) books". For me the best approach is to come to the Dirac formalism as early as possible and then treating wave mechanics as the special case of the position representation.
 
  • #10
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For several years in the 1990s and early 2000s, I used Michael Morrison's "Understanding Quantum Physics" for my undergraduate QM course.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0137479085/?tag=pfamazon01-20
It uses a traditional wave-mechanics-first approach, which many people here don't favor. Its big advantage for my students (and for me, as a harried professor teaching three different courses per semester, plus labs :oldwink:) was that it shows a lot of detail in working out derivations and examples.

It appears to be out of print now. Even used copies seem to be surprisingly expensive for a nearly 30-year-old book. But maybe you'll get lucky and find it cheaper somewhere, or in your university library.
 
  • #11
vanhees71
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Well, maybe it's expensive, because it's a good book!
 
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For several years in the 1990s and early 2000s, I used Michael Morrison's "Understanding Quantum Physics" for my undergraduate QM course.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0137479085/?tag=pfamazon01-20
It uses a traditional wave-mechanics-first approach, which many people here don't favor. Its big advantage for my students (and for me, as a harried professor teaching three different courses per semester, plus labs :oldwink:) was that it shows a lot of detail in working out derivations and examples.

It appears to be out of print now. Even used copies seem to be surprisingly expensive for a nearly 30-year-old book. But maybe you'll get lucky and find it cheaper somewhere, or in your university library.
I have this book. It is excellent!
 
  • #13
vanhees71
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Another one I always forget is the one by David Bohm. It's written before he rediscovered de Broglie's pilot wave interpretation and afaik the reason for Bohm to rethink interpretation.
 
  • #14
Dr Transport
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Try the Schaum's outline for quantum mechanics.
 

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