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I want to learn Quantum Physics/Mechanics/Field Theory

  1. Nov 7, 2004 #1
    I've decided I'm not going to dual major in Math and Physics so I'm instead just going to do it as a hobby. I've already tought myself a little bit of math (Calc I-III, Diff Eq's and Complex Analysis) and I'm already pretty familiar with a few mathematical aspects of modern physics (photoelectric effect, pair production/annhilation, relativity, Schrödinger wave equation etc...) was wondering what books you guys would recommend for learning all of this (and maybe even general relativity)? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2004 #2
    Any book title Introduction to Quantum Mechanics would do. If you are well versed in linear algebra, diff eqns, I would recommend Wikipedia's article (half of which was written by me :), http://www.wikipedia.com/Mathematical_formulation_of_quantum_mechanics. Just follow the links of terms you don't understand.

    GR is much more difficult, first get your head round tensors, and then SR in tensor form, then manifolds and all of Riemann's stuff. Then I would recommend Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, that's quite good.
     
  4. Nov 9, 2004 #3
    Jim Hartle's new introductory book on general relativity is supposed to be very good indeed. I'm getting a copy soon. The back cover has all sorts of big names endorsing it, including Hartle's good buddy Hawking.
     
  5. Nov 9, 2004 #4

    vanesch

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    I'm in the process of reading "The road to reality" by Penrose, and I have to say that I'm really enjoying it.
    It starts out by explaining to you what is a rational number and ends with supergravity and beyond. Great read.

    cheers,
    Patrick.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2004 #5

    dextercioby

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    The best book to learning GR,without using differential geometry at all (defining tensors in the taxonomical approach),is "General Relativity" by Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac.It should provide you with the physical contents of GR.For the math part,Steven Weinberg deals pretty well.MTW book will lose u among footnotes.For the Einstein-Cartan theory (which provides the natural path to Supergravity theories),there is a chapter in Steven Weinberg's book,one in Ramond's book,an article by Kibble,a clean approach by Carmeli,a.s.o.
    To Quantum Mechanics,it's not easy to give advice,as i don't know how far u will go go,and how much mathematics (functional analysis to be exact) u will need.The easiest approach is provided by Cohen-Tanoudji et al. and Messiah.But you can go deeper into mathmatics behind QM with the Bible by Prugoveçki.And the list would carry on.The original book by Von Neumann (1932 in German,not Hungarian,and the English transcription 1955) should be easier than Prugoveçki.It provides the reader with the original text on Von Neumann formulation of (nonrelativistic) Quantum Mechanics.If you want the other formulation as well,you can go to Feynman,Hibbs' book.
    Into field theory,depends on how much you want to understand.If you wanna be shallow,u can choose Peskin,Schroeder/Itzykson,Zuber/Bailin and Love/Ryder.More rigurous approaches u find in Steven Weinberg/Zee/Ramond.Or go directly to the Bible of quantizing by Henneaux,Teitelboim.The applications are to be found in the books mentioned earlier.Standard Model applications,that is.

    I think you have a list.It's not complete.Maybe i missed many books,good ones,that is.Or maybe not.

    Good luck!!!
     
  7. Nov 9, 2004 #6

    Chronos

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  8. Nov 10, 2004 #7

    dextercioby

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    I can assum he should be taking it from zero,not from top level.He's having probably no knowledge,and should follow easier,introductory books.Siegels' book should be the last on any list....
     
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