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Best college level text book for beginners of QM

  1. Aug 16, 2013 #1
    I have read a lot of stuff on Quantum Mechanics and there seem to be a lot of outlandish theories on the web mixing QM with every religion in a search for god as the great observer. I would really love to get my hands on a good college level text book that explains the more supported theories. Also I am very interested in understanding the formulas behind how we have leveraged our knowledge of QM in the real world of technology.

    Again I am looking for something that will not bore me but also not overwhelm me with detail. And explanation of how we have leveraged our knowledge.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    The best is Ballentine - Quantum Mechanics - A Modern Development. It develops it clearly and logically from just 2 axioms - Schrodinger's equation etc is given its true basis - symmetry. I have read quite a few books on QM and this is by a long way the best.

    But I wouldn't start with it though. I would ease into it with Hugh's - Structure And Interpretation of QM then Quantum Mechanics Demystified first. Don't worry if they leave you a bit unsatisfied - all will be clear in Ballentine.

  4. Aug 16, 2013 #3
    The most commonly used undergrad textbooks in my experience are Griffiths' "Introduction to QM", Shankar's "Principles of QM", and Sakurai's "Modern QM". All three are excellent and should be understandable for anyone with calculus/differential equations and intro physics, and they all present a real mathematical introduction to the formalism. Griffiths is the most easy and takes a physically intuitive approach. Shankar is mathematically more rigorous and thus tougher. Sakurai is comprehensive and so is probably hardest.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  5. Aug 16, 2013 #4
  6. Aug 16, 2013 #5
    What exactly is your math/physics background?
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