1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Need a few quantum physics books

  1. May 24, 2005 #1
    My husband wants to teach himself quantum physics. What books do you recomend? I want to get him a few for his birthday.
    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2005 #2

    dextercioby

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's not that simple,i'm afraid.He doesn't want to learn a poem.What prior education (espacially in physics and mathematics) has he had...?

    Daniel.
     
  4. May 24, 2005 #3
    Easy. Ask him.
     
  5. May 25, 2005 #4

    jma2001

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Daniel is correct, it's not really possible to understand quantum mechanics without learning the mathematical formalism, and that is quite an undertaking (I am attempting to learn QM myself so I know all too well). If you just want a broad overview of the history and concepts of QM, the series of books by John Gribbin are as good as anything else. If you wanted to take a crack at an actual textbook, you could try _Principles of Quantum Mechanics_ by R. Shankar. It's clearly written, it provides answers for many of the exercises (very important for a self-learner), and it is relatively inexpensive (compared to other textbooks). It also starts off with a 70 page "introduction" to all of the math needed for the rest of the book, so you will know right away if you are in over your head. Another possibility would be _Introduction to Quantum Mechanics_ by David J. Griffiths. I don't own a copy of that one myself but I have heard good things about it.
     
  6. May 25, 2005 #5

    dextercioby

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Griffiths has some exercises wrongly placed.I mean they can be solved using knowledge exposed later on in the book.So it doesn't look that good.

    Daniel.
     
  7. May 25, 2005 #6

    jma2001

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I take it you have no complaints about Shankar? And what is your opinion of Sakurai?

    The "good" thing about Griffiths QM text is that it is supposedly easier than the others (if any QM text can be said to be easy). The same sort of comparison is made between Griffiths' electrodynamics text and Jackson's. That is, Jackson is the standard but if you are having trouble with it you could turn to Griffiths for help. Same for QM, you start with Shankar or Sakurai but if they are over your head you could try Griffiths. Of course, all of this is assuming you have the necessary mathematical foundation (vector calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, etc.) to tackle any of these books in the first place.
     
  8. May 25, 2005 #7

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    As others have asked, what is his background in mathematics and physics?

    What aspects of "quantum physics" does he want to learn? What is his goal?
    Does he want to understand some of the foundational/philosophical aspects? Or does he want to understand how to solve certain problems ("particle in a box", "hydrogren atom", "quantum tunneling", etc..)?

    Here's one that looked interesting to me (although I haven't gone through it yet) if I were to teach quantum mechanics again.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...pd_sxp_f/002-4321148-5689609?v=glance&s=books
    Understanding Quantum Physics: A User's Manual, Vol. 1
    by Michael A. Morrison
    [under the image of the bookcover, you can "look inside this book"]

    An interesting "little book" is
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...recs_b_i/002-4321148-5689609?v=glance&s=books
    QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
    by Richard Phillips Feynman

    Another classic is
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0201021153/002-4321148-5689609?v=glance
    Feynman's Lectures on Physics vol. III.
     
  9. May 25, 2005 #8

    jma2001

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You might also take a look at "The Structure and Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" by R.I.G. Hughes. I have a copy of this book and it is somewhat unique in that it occupies the middleground between the popularizations and the serious textbooks. That is, it explains just enough of the mathematics to get into serious discussions about the uncertainty principle and the EPR paradox, without going into all the rigorous detail that a physics major would be expected to know.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0674843924/

    I just noticed that this same discussion is going on in one of the other forums, so check there for more advice:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=76795
     
  10. May 25, 2005 #9

    dextercioby

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There are better books...


    In the same league with Gallindo & Pascual and Schwinger.Among the best.

    Nope.I'd say Griffiths is undergraduate/introductory text,while Sakurai is a graduates-aimed text.

    Daniel.
     
  11. May 25, 2005 #10

    jma2001

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Agreed, I did not mean to imply that Griffiths is a substitute for a Sakurai-level text, just that it could be used as a stepping stone along the way.
     
  12. May 25, 2005 #11

    dextercioby

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Sure,just as long as u watch out for some tricky exercises.On the other had,Sakurai's famous for its extremely difficult exercises,just like Merzbacher.

    Daniel.
     
  13. May 28, 2005 #12
    Feynman's book is on QFT, which is not Quantum Mechanics per se, but it is an excallent book.
     
  14. Jul 25, 2005 #13
    "I'd say Griffiths is undergraduate/introductory text,while Sakurai is a graduates-aimed text."

    But that should prevent anyone from picking up the book. I'm currently an undergraduate in physics and I did most of my learning of Quantum Mechanics from Sakurai and Shankar.

    Griffiths wrote a pretty decent electrodynamics book and even though the QM book is reasonable, it's easy to find yourself kind of confused...it's like a Hilbert Space spanned by negative knowledge.
     
  15. Jul 26, 2005 #14
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Need a few quantum physics books
  1. Quantum physics book (Replies: 9)

Loading...