Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Looking for a self study quantum text

  1. Dec 25, 2008 #1
    Ok, so i've been obsessed with the wackyness of quantum mechanics for years and I can't tell you how much i want to learn the math and the equations like the dirac notation and the shroedinger equation, spin and angular momentum...all of it. As a senior in high school I am going to start learning linear algebra with gilbert strang's book and mit video lectures and try to get the basics of calculus and differential equations down, but I need a good intro to Quantum text, I was looking at shankar and griffiths, but i am not sure...I know quantum physics isn't easy to self-study, but i would really appreciate recommendations on any books that helped you guys to learn qm. Please guide me because i am so determined but i just don't know where to start?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2008 #2
    just start cranking Griffiths, there is no other way around it!
    Read the text line by line, chapter by chapter, do not skip a single thing. Do active reading, not just stare blankly and nod your head. When the book makes a claim, try to proof it. Do not look at the book when trying to proof the given statement. Try to understand the difficulties in proving the fact. It is best if you actually get stuck! so that you understand why the book does what. When the book shows a result, go through the calculation (don't get lazy on the gaussian integrals). When you are done with a certain chapter, come back to it from time to time (rerun this process).

    If you get stuck on the math, get a book on ODE or PDE, study what you need and move on.

    One caution though, if you can't prove a certain statement after a very long time, move on and accept it as a fact (only use this as a last resort). Remember to come back later though. Good luck in your studies!
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  4. Dec 25, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You should probably get a copy of this one sooner or later. Perhaps someone who has actually read it can comment on how suitable or unsuitable it is a first book on quantum mechanics.
  5. Dec 25, 2008 #4
    I have a book by Frederick W. Byron, Jr. and Robert W. Fuller entitled; "Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics." It's printed by Dover Publishing and I've always been impressed with their quality.

    I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but it's an excelent book. This book is intended/designed for graduate level physics texts. Happy holidays.
  6. Apr 28, 2011 #5
    Basically, there is books by David Mcmahon, got quantum mechanics demystified, relativity demystified,quantum field theory demystified and string theory demystified. I am not able to follow thru the books but I think if you had enuff tenacity should be able to follow thru. Brother, I also want to unlock the equations right? You can try.
  7. Apr 28, 2011 #6
    Jeez, I guess I'm the only one who noticed that you said you were in high school, and hadn't even taken calculus yet.

    You have at least two years of math classes to take before you should even think about most of the books recommended above.

    Single and multivariable calculus, diff eq, and linear algebra at the very least, concurrent with a year or more of calculus based physics. And even that is rushing it, because QM is typically taught in grad school, to students with four years of college math and physics.

    You have to walk before you can run. To tide you over, you can read popular treatments of QM while you are learning enough math and physics to read real QM textbooks.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook