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Looking for a not gentle introduction to Q. Physics

  1. Mar 23, 2012 #1
    I know a fair amount of theoretical Quantum Physics, how things work within it, and the ideas that ground it. I lack, though, the more advanced mathematics.

    Right now I'm taking an Engineering course, and last year I studied a little bit of Quantum Physics, but the calculations were limited to one-dimensional applications of the Schrödinger Equation and such.

    I have the Feynman Lectures on Physics, but I do not believe they ever get far enough into the theories (I haven't finished reading even the first one yet, due to lack of time caused by school) for it to be truly interesting.

    So what I'm looking for is a recommendation of one or more books about Quantum Theory (and I want math in it) that cover a large part of it, the more the merrier. I am pretty confident I can handle most of the more advanced math in the theory, as long as I have a build-up of knowledge before that to give me some basis (i.e. a book that starts Chapter 1 talking about entanglement, decoherence and making three-dimensional time-independent calculations is not exactly what I'm looking for).

    I would like to thank you in advance for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2012 #2


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    Try Sakurai's "Modern Quantum Mechanics" or Ballentine's book, which goes a bit more into detail.
  4. Mar 23, 2012 #3
    When you studied QM what book did you use?

    Sakurai is good if you have a basic grounding in QM and have a moderately good understanding of linear algebra. Be forewarned though... if your math background is only calc and diff eq, Sakurai will be a shock. It is a great book, but an engineering class and one dimensional Schrodinger equation are a very different language than Sakurai.

    Sakurai starts by considering a number of spin measurements on photons. If you know L.A. it will be fine. If not, I would recommend Griffiths. It is a bit slower paced. It skips some things, but I feel like I get Sakurai better after reading Griffiths.

    So it really depends on your math background and a bit of your classical mechanics background. Sakurai assumes you have read Goldstein or are at least comfortable with the basics of Hamiltonian and Lagrangian mechanics.

    I have only read these two in any depth and can't comment on any other texts.
  5. Mar 23, 2012 #4
    I used just a very very basic Physics textbook called Physics IV, by Sears & Zemansky. Very, very basic, indeed :P

    I do have a pretty good understanding of linear algebra, yes :)

    Also, when you say Goldstein, do you mean this: https://www.amazon.com/Classical-Me...dstein/dp/0201657023/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top ?

    I haven't read it, but might look into it. Generally I trust my knowledge of Classical Mechanics, but it never does any good to be too arrogant to try to learn more. Besides, having another physics book on my shelf will not make it any uglier :D
  6. Mar 23, 2012 #5
    I agree. Griffiths is a well-written undergrad-level book. As for advanced textbooks, Sakurai is a good, but I would definitely add Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics. It's more formal mathematically and the derivations are a little more in depth, but it covers most of the same material as Sakurai.
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