"Modern Quantum Mechanics" by Sakurai for First Encounter

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Dear friends,

Can "Modern Quantum Mechanics" by Sakurai be used as a first introduction to the quantum mechanics, given that I have a professor who can guide my reading and supplementary books? I recently got an opportunity for a reading course in rigorous QM, and I thought Sakurai would be a good book; my mentor let me choose my own book. I can devote 8hrs/week. If Sakurai can be used as a first introduction to acquire reasonable understanding of QM, what books make a good supplement to Sakurai?

I know single-variable analysis, axiomatic set theory, abstract linear algebra, set-theoretic topology, and modern algebra.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Maybe you should ask your professor this.
 
  • #3
Dr Transport
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The preface says "This book is intended for a first year graduate student who has studied quantum mechanics at the junior or senior level. It does not provide an introduction to quantum mechanics for the beginner....."

I'd say no, use another text for your intro to QM theory....
 
  • #4
dextercioby
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Sakurai's text is too abstract and high level for a first exposure to the subject. You need another reading before that which emphasizes the motivation behind QM. I like very much the book on QM by Bransden and Joachain. This is intended as preparation for an atomic/molecular physics course (published by them in a different textbook), so the abstraction level is quite low.
 
  • #5
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I have the same understanding of the preface quoted by Dr transport. I would prefer Shankar's text to Sakurai. It is just as advanced, although it starts slower and is longer. It also treats barriers, particle in a box, which Sakurai skips, because he expects the students have seen it before.

You can even use a graduate course textbook like Merzbacher, or Messiah.
At an intermediate level, Merzbacher is a challenge but can be used.
I remember as a graduate (pre-sakurai; pre shankar), I used a combination of Schiff, Merzbacher, Messiah, and Powell and Craseman, looking for the best treatment of the topics. I do think it is better to use mostly one textbook.
 
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