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Quantum Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by David J. Griffiths

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PART I: Theory

1.The Wave Function
1.1 The Schrodinger Equation
1.2 The Statistical Interpretation
1.3 Probability
1.4 Normalization
1.5 Momentum
1.6 The Uncertainty Principle

2.Time-Independent Schrodinger Equation
2.1 Stationary States
2.2 The Infinite Square well
2.3 The Harmonic Oscillator
2.4 The Free Particle
2.5 The Delta-Function Potential
2.6 The Finite Square Well

3.1 Hilbert Space
3.2 Observables
3.3 Einenfunctions of a Hermitian Operator
3.4 Generalized Statistical Interpretation
3.5 The Uncertainty Principle
3.6 Dirac Notation

4.Quantum Mechanics in Three Dimension
4.1 Schrodinger Equation in Spherical Coordinates
4.2 The Hydrogen Atom
4.3 Angular Momentum
4.4 Spin

5.Identical Particles
5.1 Two Particle System
5.2 Atoms
5.3 Solids
5.4 Quantum Statistical Mechanics

PART II: Applications

6.Time-Independent Perturbation Theory
6.1 Nondegenerate Perturbation Theory
6.2 Degenerate Perturbation Theory
6.3 The Fine Structure of Hydrogen
6.4 The Zeeman Effect
6.5 Hyperfine Splitting

7.The Variational Principle
7.1 Theory
7.2 The Ground state of Helium
7.3 The Hydrogen Molecule of Ion

8.The WKB Approximation
8.1 The Classical Region
8.2 Tunneling
8.3 The Connection Formula

9.Time Dependent Perturbation Theory
9.1 Two-Level System
9.2 Emission and Absorption of Radiation
9.3 Spontaneous Emission

10.The Adiabatic Approximation
10.1 The Adiabatic Theorem
10.2 Berry Phase

11.1 Introduction
11.2 Partial Wave Analysis
11.3 Phase Shifts
11.4 The Born Approximation

12.1 The EPR Paradox
12.2 Bell's Theorem
12.3 The No-Clone Theorem
12.4 Schrodinger's Cat
12.5 The Quantum Zero Paradox.

Appendix: Linear Algebra
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very nice book and very compact - some books just take too much pages to explain. This one is very well balanced. At least from what I remember when I followed the course. I also like the mathematical treatment.


Homework Helper
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This is a very good book, with one caveat. I find the introduction and coverage of Dirac Notation to be marginal. I think Griffiths spends way too much time working in position space.

I'm of the opinion that one should be exposed to the more general operator notation and Dirac notation earlier. Otherwise, the student may get confused when they are later forced to abandon the position space representation of QM, e.g spin systems. (I know this from personal experience.)

Griffiths is unparalleled for physical insight into QM however. I have a few issues with his presentation of the measurement problem in the last chapter, but those are minor complaints. Overall I recommend the text, but think that one should supplement it with a text like Gasiorowicz to learn the general operator formulation of QM and Dirac notation.
this was my first book on the subject, I worked all problems and in my opinion this is the only way one can benefit completely from this book, probably there is no other more suitable choice!
The book is better called "Introduction to Wave Mechanics", not "Introduction of Quantum Mechanics". It gives almost no background of quantum physics, it is a good book though.
This is a very good book, with one caveat. I find the introduction and coverage of Dirac Notation to be marginal. I think Griffiths spends way too much time working in position space.
Hah! My professor said the same thing. We are learning Dirac Notation now, midway through the semester, as he believed it to be too much for the beginning. I found https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Quantum-Mechanics-Introductory-Eigenvalues/dp/0486453081 very helpful for learning linear algebra's operators quickly and effectively.
Go easy on the page turning, especially while flipping forth and back in the reference material at the very beginning or end of the book. Seems like Griffiths likes to use some or other bad combination of paper material and book binding. In both this text and his Elementary Particles text, seems like pages like to rip out a bit too easily
I hated this book because of the immense amount of hand-waving it contains, and the lack of emphasis on the formalism. And since it is usually a first book on QM it gives students the false impression that all QM is about is a series of diconnected methods for solving the Schrodinger equation (I have seen many fellow students get turned off to QM because of this). The treatment of angular momentum and spin is complete crap and will leave you confused. I would particularly warn people who prefer a formal and logically clear presentation to not buy this book. I would start with Zettili or Shankar, and after getting some experience in solving schrodinger's equation, go to Sakurai, which is the best treatment IMO.
Difference between Griffith's Intro to QM Ed 1 and 2?

Is there an appreciable difference between the first and 2nd version of this text? I have the first edition, but I am very willing to get the newer version if there are improvements.

Chris Maness
How does it compare to the 2 books by Townsend?

(preamble: I'm sorry for the english but I'm not mother tongue)

Griffiths is a very good book. It is true that once authors taken seriously their job (think to Born books or to delicious old Dover) while today we are submerged by always new books of little quality, but Griffiths books are rare exceptions. Surely price and absence of solutions are valid complaint (but in Italy the price is a more reasonable 40 euro) but I decidedly disagree with others complaint you can read sometimes in this forum.

For me that only know complex and Fourier analysis (I don't know higher mathematics) Griffiths was beautiful. Someone said that Griffiths explanation of the separation of variables technique is painful: simply I disagree: I have a mediocre brain and I understood Griffiths reasoning. Secondarily, there is nothing bad in check that a function solve a differential equation, Griffiths focus on physics and (only sometimes) he give the mathematical solution of physical equations like if they were found by a stroke of luck. In my opinion this is not a great sin.

Surely Griffiths doesn't explain all, but when it is necessary in footnote he say to the reader a place where find information. He do it when he doesn't want to study in depth some argument (notice that he do this about the origin of Schrodinger equation, why who does criticism about this point didn't cite this fact?!?) or to justify some point too difficult in a first study of quantum mechanics (for example the choice B=0 before equation 4.43). Surely a student ambitious and capable will try to study quantum mechanics in some other book, after the first study on Griffiths, but the purpose of the Griffiths book, as say the title, is the introduction to quantum mechanics.

Someone said that "Griffiths wrote this book to make money", I can't comment this... there is no harm in doing something honest with the purpose to do money (we all do it when we go to work) but you can't write a masterpiece if this is your motivation. By the way, the enthusiasm for a well done job can be seen observing the maniac precision with which he publish errata corrige in his home page. In Griffiths books I only find love for physics and for teaching, he always try to be as clearer and deep as possible (an example comes to my mind: see how Griffiths explain Laplace equation in ED book). Galileo said "parlare oscuramente lo sa fare ognuno, ma chiaro pochissimi" that is "everyone can speak obscurely [to look a great expert], but very few people can speak clearly". Griffiths is practically the only not italian contemporary author I know whose purpose is always simply give the best and share the beauty of physics (sometimes the purpose of a book is simply make money and/or praise the author :-)).

Someone think that if you don't know higher mathematics you shouldn't study physics, or you can't understand its beauty. I think this is snobbery. I think that physics is beautiful and that everyone should taste this beauty. Once Sojourner Truth said about intelligence: "If my cup won't hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?". Is'nt she right?

Anyway I must agree with this judgement written above: "The treatment of [...] spin [...] will leave you confused". I don't know if the fault is of Griffiths, of the subject, or simply of my brain: I found section 4.4.3 incomprehensible.


Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Fausto, great and insightful comment. Can you expand on your last assertion? Why was it incomprehensible to you?
Unluckily no, I can't expand now my assertion, I'm too busy and I studied this subject time ago (and I don't plain to study it again in the immediate future). Simply I remember that I found this section decidedly not clear as the rest of the book (and I taken heart by Griffiths comment "If you think this is starting to sound like mystical numerology, I don't blame you" :-)). Maybe in the future I will post a question about this (I hope, in this case, to benefit of your help), now I'm too busy with my job and other physics subjects. Anyway thank you for the comment and for the interest.
I did not take undergraduate QM since my major was EE. Then I enrolled in MS Physics and took a graduate QM (many many years ago). In my view, graduate QM is easier (mathematically) becuase it deals mainly with group theory and matrices, e.g. eigen values and eigen states. But I always wanted to read on undergraduate QM. I now reside in China and was able to get an edition (authorized for sale in China only) for 39 RMB (~ US $6.00). From just glancing over it, I think the book is pretty good.
If you have a chance to travel to China in the near future, you may consider to purchase the book (soft copy only) in China. The only thing is I cannot find the appendix that summarizes the linear algebra - but it's not a big deal.

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