Introductory quantum mechanics textbook for self-study

In summary, a student is seeking recommendations for an introductory textbook on quantum mechanics, with a preference for mathematical rigor. The standard textbook suggested is "Griffiths," but other alternatives are also mentioned. Some posters recommend starting with a book on modern physics before delving into quantum mechanics. The student is currently pursuing a degree in math and is interested in becoming a mathematical physicist. There is a discussion about the necessary mathematical background for studying quantum mechanics, including probability and statistics, vector calculus, differential equations, complex calculus, linear algebra, and special functions. Some posters suggest not skipping courses in analytical mechanics, optics, and intermediate electromagnetic theory.
  • #1
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Hi!
I want to self study some of quantum mechanics so i need introductory textbook. I've taken courses on linear algebra that covers all "Linear algebra done right" by Sheldon Axler, multivariable calculus, two courses on general physics and the basics of differentials equations.
I really like mathematical rigour but i don't know if that is possible with my actual knowledge
 
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  • #3
I'd not recommend Griffiths. If you see, how many people in the QT forum are confused by this book, I think it's better to use another introductory book. My favorite is still the one we used in the introductory theory-course lecture in the mid-90ies:

J. J. Sakurai and S. Tuan, Modern Quantum Mechanics, Revised Edition,
Addison Wesley (1993).

The newer edition, co-authored by Napolitano is fine, because it kept the content of the Revised Edition. It's only augmented with a chapter on relativistic quantum mechanics, which I recommend to skip and learn relativistic QFT from the very beginning, after you have a good understanding of non-relativistic QM.
 
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  • #4
Nevertheless, I think Griffiths has good problem sections.
 
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  • #5
Hi @Santiago24 ,
I am not a professional like above posters. I am just student like you. I think that before starting quantum mechanics, it would be a lot more better to begin with a book on Modern physics. @caz may explain this because he suggested me.
As for books, I have Max Born's atomic physics (Dover).
 
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  • #6
Mr.Husky said:
Hi @Santiago24 ,
I am not a professional like above posters. I am just student like you. I think that before starting quantum mechanics, it would be a lot more better to begin with a book on Modern physics. @caz may explain this because he suggested me.
As for books, I have Max Born's atomic physics (Dover).
Thanks! I'm going to try with modern physics and wait to learn more math to study quantum mechanics.
 
  • #7
I'm curious, what is your background? why quantum mechanics?
 
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  • #8
andresB said:
I'm curious, what is your background? why quantum mechanics?
I'm doing a degree in math and taking physics courses (i want to be a mathematical physicist).I heard that there is a lot of math used in quantum mechanics and i found it very interesting.
 
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  • #9
There is a lot of math in QM, indeed.
On the physical side, I would recommend not skipping analytical mechanics, optics, and intermediate electromagnetic theory.
But with a background in mathematics maybe you can handle more mathematically oriented QM books, Like Messiah.
 
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  • #10
andresB said:
There is a lot of math in QM, indeed.
On the physical side, I would recommend not skipping analytical mechanics, optics, and intermediate electromagnetic theory.
But with a background in mathematics maybe you can handle more mathematically oriented QM books, Like Messiah.
General physics 2 is a general view of electromagnetic because we don't know about vector calculus yet but i saw some of optic there. My university gave me a list of courses that i could take to be a mathematical physicist, there is two courses about electromagnetic, one I'm going to take on the second semester of the next year (here in South America now we are on summer vacations) and the other is theory of electromagnetic and is on the final year. In the list there is also a course on analytical mechanics.
I'm going to save the name of the book, thanks for all!
 
  • #11
Well, it seems you are unprepared in the mathematical side too since you have not seen vector calculus. My experience is not universal (of course), but in my south American university, the mathematical prerequisites for QM were: Probability and statistics, Vector calculus, Differential equations (ordinary and some stuff in partial), Complex calculus, linear algebra and some Hilbert space stuff, Fourier series, Sturm-Liouville theory, special functions (Legendre, Laguerre, etc).

You can go into QM with less mathematical knowledge, but that doesn't sound right since you want to be a mathematical physicist.
 
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  • #12
andresB said:
Well, it seems you are unprepared in the mathematical side too since you have not seen vector calculus. My experience is not universal (of course), but in my south American university, the mathematical prerequisites for QM were: Probability and statistics, Vector calculus, Differential equations (ordinary and some stuff in partial), Complex calculus, linear algebra and some Hilbert space stuff, Fourier series, Sturm-Liouville theory, special functions (Legendre, Laguerre, etc).

You can go into QM with less mathematical knowledge, but that doesn't sound right since you want to be a mathematical physicist.
In the first post the OP says he has had multivariable calculus. When I took it, complex analysis and pde’s were taught concurrently with quantum 1,2 which meant that the basics were also taught in the quantum class. There is a good chance the OP is ready.
 
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  • #13
andresB said:
There is a lot of math in QM, indeed.
On the physical side, I would recommend not skipping analytical mechanics, optics, and intermediate electromagnetic theory.
But with a background in mathematics maybe you can handle more mathematically oriented QM books, Like Messiah.
Then something more modern would also be good. I think the "rigged-Hilbert space formalism" is better than the traditional approach. It's mathematically rigorous and much closer to the physicists' "pragmatic approach" ;-)). See, e.g., the following dissertation

http://galaxy.cs.lamar.edu/~rafaelm/webdis.pdf
 
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  • #14
If you wish to develop a physical intuition for the mathematics of QM, you may browse through Edmund Whittaker's A History of Theories of Aether and Electricity. It builds on the historical developments that lead to QM (and other modern fields of physics). I'm a student as well, and this book is helping me understand some finer points behind the premises of modern QM theory. Mind you, this is just to supplement your chosen textbooks!
 
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