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Principles of QM - R. Shankar: Good Start ?

  1. Nov 10, 2004 #1

    Have to get my Christmas wish lists together and was looking for a good book to buy on QM.
    I need some background on the mathematics involved. I'm also self-studying, with the help of you all of course :)

    I found this book to meed my needs, but I'm a bit unsure to spend a lot of money buying books online without being able to look into them.

    Appreciate any feedback,

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2004 #2
    I prefer "griffiths" to start.
    It is more acceptable and understandable to the beginners.
    Good Luck!!!
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3


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    I think Griffiths is horrible.
    I recommend "Cohen Tannoudji". (expensive though)
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4


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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2004
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5
    I myself found that it took putting lots of pieces together from different books to begin to get an idea of what was going on as no one book seemed to be very good.

    Doing searches on the internet for badly explained bits helps a lot, so always keep that in mind when studying a book. You can also find lectures and tutorials in QM from many university websites.

    By the way, when people say "Griffiths" they mean David J. Griffiths' QM book and not Robert B. Griffiths' QM book. The latter one is not really meant for people new to the subject.
  7. Nov 10, 2004 #6


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    That's what happens when taught QM by unqualified teachers... :yuck:

    The former is a decent book (I like the cats on its covers),though it has its errors and defficiencies.
    E.g. On page 137,when speaking of the spectrum of Hydrogen atom (bound states,no relativistic effects taken into consideration),it make the curious association between 1924 and the Schroedinger equation.It was early november 1924 when Louis de Broglie,in his PhD thesis,defuses the "bomb" which was then unanimously called QM.And,though he may have started working in 1925,it was not until march 1926 than Erwin Schroedinger published his first article on wave mechanics.As I remember,there were 4 articles,streched over (correctly included in) 2 volums of "Annalen der Physik",In the first,there was definitely his (unrelativistic) famous equation.In the last,there was the relativistical extent of his equation,which,unfortunately for him,was printed later than did Klein,Gordon,Fock.

    So,everyone out there,if you really want to understand a physical theory,always make the right connections with the historical events.Knowing the history of a science make you look better than a "specialist" who mixes up historical details (especially when writing a book :yuck: ),even though you don't know too much of that science.And the history of quantum physics (at least from 1900-1973) is a splendid one.For me,at least... :approve:

    The second book is about 3 miles away from me (it's in another building owned by the library,which is in Leuven...),so I can't say anything good/bad upon it.


    The one and only,Daniel-Cristian Ciobotu...
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