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Books recommendation for understanding quantum world

  1. May 8, 2013 #1
    Physics is not my area so I dont have solid background to understand complex books, I am searching for books to introduce me to quantum physics that I can understand. Can you please recommend any books for me.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2013 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    You need a 'solid background' to start quantum physics.
    Otherwise, you are led by the conflicting confusions of 'popular' treatments.
  4. May 8, 2013 #3
    Thanks alot, In your opinion what are the minimum requirements and prerequisites to start learning about quantum physics.

    My major is computer science and I am interested in quantum physics in general and also interested about the quantum computing.
  5. May 8, 2013 #4


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    "How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog" by Chad Orzel is a pretty good pop-sci introduction.

    The problem with doing it "properly" is that you need to have the right background (mainly maths), and even then it takes a long time to learn even the basics.

    There is nothing wrong with pop-sci, as long as you remember that you that no popular description can ever give you the full picture.
  6. May 8, 2013 #5
    Differential geometry (to the point of understanding differential operators), imaginary numbers, matrix algebra, plus a little bit of differential equations so the Schrodinger equation solutions make some sense.

    I learnt from A.C.Phillips, if you want a textbook with a bit of a narrative to it.
  7. May 8, 2013 #6


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    And of course a solid grounding in classical mechanics.
  8. May 8, 2013 #7


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    There are lots of similar threads in the books forum, so I suggest you do a search. I will move this thread there. Edit: Apparently someone else did that while I was typing that.
  9. May 8, 2013 #8
    You won't need differential geometry for QM. Not for the level the OP is searching for anyway.
  10. May 8, 2013 #9
    Wilczek, Frank, _Longing for the Harmonies.
    Gilder, Louisa, _The Age of Entanglement_

    LOTS of _Scientific American_ issues, including "Helium3 Superfluids, June 1990.
    Special Issue, _Science in the 20th Century_, including authors Einstein, Schrodinger, Weinberg, Guth & Steinhardt, Feldman & Steinberger, Scrhramm & Steigman and wonderful article, "The Mystery of the Cosmological Constant" by Larry Abbott.

    SciAm is a great resource.

    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  11. May 8, 2013 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    I was just about to mention that. I know it from studying GR - but QM - well some advanced mathematical approaches such as Varadarajan - Geometry Of Quantum Theory do use it but that is at a level even beyond my go to book - Ballentine - QM - A Modern Development.

    My suggestion is the following sequence:

    To brush up on Classical Mechanics, Calculus and provide the necessary background - Susskund - Theoretical Minimum:

    The Structure And Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics By Hughes to start with:

    QM Demystified to get your sea legs at an intermediate level so to speak:

    Then onto my go to book - Ballentine - QM - A Modern Development:

    If after that you are still keen get Varadarajan - Geometry Of Quantum Theory:

    But that is very advanced mathematically and many people (I am not one of them but then again I would classify myself as more along the lines of a mathematical physicist) will say its not even really a QM book - its really math.

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