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Beginer in QM

  1. Sep 21, 2012 #1
    Hello every one....
    I am a beginer in quantam mechanics.....
    Plz tell me a simple book to start.....
    thanks in advance....
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Its a bit pokey having cartoons and stuff but I like 'Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science's Most Puzzling Discovery'

    Its OK to start with but for a deeper understanding you will need to come to grips with the math and to make recommendations at that level we will need to know your math background.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Sep 21, 2012 #3


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    Unfortunately there's not too much to see on this Amazon preview thing, but it appears to be pretty misleading. I don't talk about the unusual appearance in a cartoon-like style, which can be fun and a nice motivation to start with a subject. My main criticism is that it, despite its modern looks, this book seems to be pretty oldfashioned as a textbook for quantum theory. From the back text I guess, it uses very outdated ideas like "wave-particle dualism" and the inaccurate statement that the photoelectric effect would prove the existence of photons in the sense of some kind of particle-like behavior of the electromagnetic radiation field. Both are overcome in 1925 with the development of "modern quantum mechanics" by Heisenberg, Born, Jordan, Pauli, Dirac, Schrödinger, and others.

    Further, the Heisenberg uncertainty relation does not tell that there's a limitation in the accuracy we can observe nature, but according to quantum theory (more precisely Born's Rule about the probabilistic meaning of the quantumtheoretical notion of the state of a system) certain observables really cannot have determined values simultaneously, no matter in which state the system is prepared. The most famous example are position and momentum.

    There is an overwhelming evidence for this point of view to be really true, no matter how "weird" we may think this is.

    Last but not least, the statement that quantum theory is notouriously difficult is quite demotivating and not really true. Of course, it's a much more abstract point of view on the physical world compared to classical physics (including relativity theory), but that's how nature is, and it is well doable by a student in the 2nd-3rd year of his or her studies.

    I'd rather recommend more modern real introductory textbooks to learn what quantum theory really is. My favorite for a beginner is

    J. J. Sakuray, Modern Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley

    (2nd edition, because it has some interesting additional material compared to the 1st).

    I'm also looking forward to the upcoming textbook by S. Weinberg, which is expected to be published at the end of this year. So far any textbook of Weinberg's has been among the best expositions of the treated subject be it "Gravitation and Cosmology", the three-volume compendium on relativistic QFT, or "Cosmology".
  5. Sep 21, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Thats a graduate level book - not what I would suggest for a beginner.

    Any book that doesn't give the full mathematical detail is going to invariably have some exactitude by virtue of the imprecision in translating the mathematics into understandable english.

  6. Sep 21, 2012 #5

    George Jones

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    What background do you have in physics and mathematics? It is difficult to make recommendations without knowing this information.
  7. Sep 22, 2012 #6
    Thanks everyone.....
    @George....My maths background is good......but still i would prefer a book doing good explanations on equations......
    Thanks once again...everyone...
  8. Sep 22, 2012 #7
    What does good mean to you? Have you taken algebra II? calculus? Linear algebra? real analysis? functional analysis?
  9. Sep 23, 2012 #8
    Dont know much about function analysis.....rest are reasonable.....My recent research topic in Masters was optical communication....there i found some dense QM in some research papers.....so thats why i was getting inclined towards QM.....thats why...i was asking....
  10. Sep 23, 2012 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Sep 26, 2012 #10
    Okay Good and thanks.....
    just want to say that whenever phenomenon involves mathematics....things become more interesting............but at the beginers stage u need more explanation.....so just want to make sure whether that book explains the equations well...
    Sukhbir Singh
  12. Sep 26, 2012 #11


    Staff: Mentor

    It most certainly does. Not only that it goes into interpretational issues as good or better than any book I have ever seen.

    The advantage to a guy like you is you have that indefinable thing called 'mathematical maturity'

  13. Sep 27, 2012 #12
    thanks Bill for your valuable suggestions.......
  14. Sep 27, 2012 #13
    Try the QM book by Messiah.
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