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Introduction to the structure of matter

  1. Feb 20, 2005 #1
    Dear friends,

    I'm a 2nd year physics student and I've taken a subject called "Introduction to the structure of matter". It's a short of introduction to quantum mechanics(blackbody radiation, Schrödinger's equation, statistical mechanics etc,)

    I would like to ask you what textbook you recommend. Our teacher has given us bibliography in Spanish, but I think there are better books in English. I don't want a complicated book such as Cohen-Tannudji (may be next year)

    A friend of mine has suggested

    <<Introduction to the Structure of Matter: A Course in Modern Physics
    John J. Brehm, William J. Mullins>>

    Do you think it's a book worth buying.

    Thanks for your opinion.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2005 #2
    For an introduction to quantum mechanics and other concepts and applications in modern physics,

    Modern physics for scientists and engineers by John Taylor, Chris Zafiratos, Michael A. Dubson is the one which I am using right now. QM covers a little less than half the book though.

    But the topics in QM covered is mostly the schrodinger equation in 1-3 dimensions, time-dependent and independent. It may cover all types of the equation but it is in a much simpler form than what QM students usually get. It also talks about other mathematical formalism in QM such as the meaning of the Hamiltonian and momentum, but all of it is done in a much simpler form.

    pre-requisites are concepts of classical mechanics and for mathematics, it would be fairly basic caluclus.

    For a deeper, yet still introductory level, I am using Introductory Quantum Mechanics by Richard L. Liboff from Cornell university. It first starts of with a chapter regarding classical concepts and mathematical preliminaries then goes of to explain the genesis of Quantum theory (blackbody, photoelectric effects). I have not gone very far in this book so I can't comment.

    From what I know in this forum, J.J Sakurai is highly recommended though.
  4. Feb 20, 2005 #3


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    Never heard of that book...Introductory QM you say,well you'd better read the third volume of Feynman's lectures on physics...A bit of math would be necessary,some linear algebra,some ODE-s...

    As for SM,well there aren't introductory books on that...You either do it;or not...

  5. Feb 20, 2005 #4


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    J.J.Sakurai,as Roger G Newton are advanced (graduate texts,if you want to) textbooks...Lots of maths and physics required...


    P.S.And Cohen-Tannoudji really sucks...Not reccomended for learning.
  6. Feb 20, 2005 #5


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    Brehm and Mullins is a good intro book if you do not mind a book being "wordy". Do not expect too much mathematical rigor, which is fine at the level you are at. I think there's a similar book by Eisberg which is also good (I think it's better) than Brehm and Mullins.

  7. Feb 20, 2005 #6

    Dr Transport

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    There is a book written by AP French and Taylor which is about this level. I used it about 20 yrs ago in my first course in quantum mechanics.
  8. Feb 21, 2005 #7

    Tom Mattson

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    I used Brehm and Mullin when I took my intro QM course, and I used Eisberg and Resnick (along with some lecture notes by Fermi) for a Nuclear Engineering course that I took. I think that both books are good, but both are wordy, as has been mentioned. I still refer to both of them when preparing lecture notes.

    In my opinion you can't go wrong with either, but Eisberg and Resnick get the nod from me because they have perturbation theory, while Brehm and Mullin do not. I think that there's no reason whatsoever to skip it at this level.
  9. Feb 22, 2005 #8
    I am pretty sure they wrote this book for Modern Physics at the University of Colorado at boulder. It is meant for 2 year students being introduced to Schrödinger Equation Relativistic Mechanics. I will have to go look this up in the school store. Dubson is a great teacher. He explains things well, and is good at motivating his students. I would like to see if I can pick out his influence in book. I have the last book in the series writen with out Dubson. It is ok as an introductory text to these areas. Some of taylors other books are less then ok and not worth buying in my humble opinion.
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