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Quantum Books recommended for quantum physics?

  1. Jan 10, 2017 #1
    I'm an undergraduate student studying mechanical engineering with some numerical knowledge of astrophysics. If I want to start learning quantum physics by myself, which books should I start reading?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What's your math background?

    There are some threads that you might find helpful in the "Science and math textbooks" section (where this thread has just been moved).

    If you aren't looking to really learn QM, but just to acquire a mathematically literate layman's understanding of what it's about, you could try Giancarlo Ghirardi's "Sneaking a look at God's cards"
  4. Jan 10, 2017 #3
    The most recent math knowledge I got in the uni is single variable differential equation (my intuition told me it is not enough to deal with quantum physics). But thanks anyway!
  5. Jan 10, 2017 #4
  6. Jan 11, 2017 #5
  7. Jan 11, 2017 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    In US universities, many or most students get their first exposure to QM as part of an "introductory modern physics" course which is intended to follow a standard two-semester intro physics course covering classical mechanics, E&M, optics, and thermodynamics. Typical textbooks (there are others):


    These assume that you already know basic classical physics (energy, momentum, etc.) and some calculus. After a course like this, students move on to a full-on QM course using e.g. Griffiths.

    At the first school where I taught after finishing my PhD, most of the students in this course were in fact engineers, because it was required for all electrical engineering students.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  8. Jan 11, 2017 #7
    Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  9. Jan 12, 2017 #8
    Shankar's Principle of Quantum Mechanics is a excellent book, in the first chapter he presents you the pre-requiriments like dual-vectors, Hamiltonian Formulation, Poisson Brackets, and do it VERY well, and he begins using BraKet formalism in the beginning, and isn't that hard!!, but you may need some knowledge on Linear Algebra and Differential Equations(Partial too). A much better book than Griffiths one in my opinion, but let me tell you something and you have to promise that you will IN EVERY SECTION, TO THE EXERCISES!, really, even if they are plain easy, do it, or you WILL forget what you have learned very fast and get lost by the middle of the book.
  10. Jan 12, 2017 #9
    Considering you will be self learning, another set of good books will be by prof. Fitzpatrick. The advantage of the books is that all the problems are worked out in detail - important for self study.

    HTML Versions:
    http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/qm/Quantum/index.html - Graduate
    http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/qmech/Quantum/Quantum.html - undergraduate

    They are available for free from lulu in pdf format.
    http://www.lulu.com/shop/richard-fi...uate-level-course/ebook/product-20962346.html - graduate level
    http://www.lulu.com/shop/richard-fitzpatrick/quantum-mechanics/ebook/product-17502148.html - undergraduate level

    Amazon has the graduate version printed and the ug printed version is available from lulu.

    I have not read the books in detail, but I have gone through a fair amount and I like the books. In my opinion the graduate version is actually easier to read than the ug version and written in a more modern way.
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