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Looking to Understand

  1. Apr 29, 2005 #1

    I am a sophmore in high school and I am really interested in buying a credible book to get me started on the path towards understanding "The Point Zero Field" and basic quantum physics. I don't know where to start, it all seems overwhelming. I want to read everything I get my hands on. Can someone please recommend me some books that I can read with understanding. I'm willing to stretch my mind, but I don't want to be lost. I want to start at the beginning of quantum physics and work my way towards understanding. I also would like someone to discuss the contents on the book with because none of the teachers at my school know a lot of about this. I have tried to get help from them. Thank you in advance.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2005 #2
    Yeah, I could use that list too.

    The only books I've read on the subject are by John Gribbin: "In Search of Schrodinger's Cat" and "Schrodinger's Kittens." I think they're both great, since you don't have to be a Post Doc Mathematician or Physicist to understand them.

    Hope that helped.


    The Rev
  4. Apr 29, 2005 #3


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    The two paperbacks recommended by The Rev are a good place to get a non-technical flavor of what quantum mechanics is like.

    Another series of books which straddles the fence between the non-technical and the technical are Feynman's Lectures on Physics. Volume III covers quantum mechanics in a rather easy (though very non-standard) way. These books are available in paperback for about $30 each.

    To get a deeper (i.e. real) understanding of quantum mechanics, you will need textbooks. The best one for self-study is probably Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths.

    Keep in mind that a technical understanding of QM will require a good bit of mathematical sophistication (linear algebra and single-variable calculus are a must), so you may have to have a few math books lying around for consultation, too.

    - Warren
  5. Apr 29, 2005 #4


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    The problem is that there is so much mathematics needed. The best non mathematical introduction is Feynman's "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter"
    , which is quite inexpensive and available at many better bookstores:

  6. Apr 29, 2005 #5
    Yes, I would echo what most people have said. I'm not sure what sophomore is, but I learnt most about qm when I was 17 (which is a year before starting university in the UK), and I could not understand quantum mechanics until I could get round the maths.
  7. Apr 29, 2005 #6


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    I might also recommend Nick Herbert's "Quantum Reality", which uses analogies of sound to illustrate ideas like superposition. I found it quite useful years ago, and it's still in the stores.
  8. Apr 29, 2005 #7
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