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Quamtum Mechanis self study

  1. Jun 19, 2012 #1
    I am a graduate student preparing for my comperhensive exam, and do not have a very strong background in QM. Which method should I use? which book takes me to the point of getting 60% out of exam. The material is advanced undergraduate QM.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2012 #2

    Dr Transport

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    the schaums outline would be helpful
  4. Jun 20, 2012 #3
    You should check out Zettili's book. For an undergrad book it is quite advanced and rigorous (especially compared to the shi*ty book that Griffiths wrote) and at the end of every chapter it has 10-15 worked out problems which are great for practice.
  5. Jun 20, 2012 #4
    What's so terrible about Griffiths' book? It is by no means perfect but I quite liked it when I took my UG course on QM 1.

    In reply to the thread starter, I'm guessing you're not a physics student, considering you're taking UG QM as a graduate student. Contrary to ahsanxr, I found Griffiths to be a pretty damn good book for the UG level. If it's a more advanced course as you said, then I'd say go for Shankar's book. Heard nothing but great things about it.
  6. Jun 20, 2012 #5
    Listen to what this guy said. I took first semester undergrad QM and was extremely frustrated by Griffiths. Then I found Zetilli's book and ended up with A+ in the class. Zetilli's book is not good. It's THE BEST. I learned about it from a member here. It will prepare you for the qual exam. He has a gazillion solved problems and shows you tricks and techniques you will never see anywhere.
  7. Jun 20, 2012 #6
    Thanks! I think it is better to go with schaum's outline at this point, too. Do you know any specific book on that? I found some schauam's online but they do not have very good reviews.
  8. Jun 20, 2012 #7
    How much time do you have? I also have the Schaum's for QM. I still swear by Zetilli's book. Unless, of course, you are really short on time. However, in this case, I doubt that anything will help.
  9. Jun 20, 2012 #8
    I have at most 2-3 weeks since I need to cover 4 more topics :-(
  10. Jun 20, 2012 #9
    Hmm. Looks like I'll have to check out Zetilli for myself, for my QM 2 class next semester. :approve:
  11. Jun 21, 2012 #10
    Griffiths book is not THAT terrible (I'd give it 2.5 stars). Sure I learned some basic QM by reading it but overall it just doesn't present the subject in a unified way. This is mainly because it leaves out a lot of formalism and does not employ the proper math that is needed in QM for a rigorous and unified approach. This leads to a lot of hand-wavy and incomplete arguments, which is really frustrating for a student who is looking for a complete understanding. And then there are his problems which sometimes can teach you something new but the majority of the times they just have you do frustrating and tedious algebra. The fact that is even more annoying is that for some reason 90% of instructors insist on continuing to use it when there are much better books out there for the undergrad level.

    I've just come out of a year-long course on QM in which we were following Griffiths and despite making A's in both semesters and having read Griffiths from cover to cover, I do not feel confident about my understanding of QM at all. The two sources that did give me some semblance of a good exposition to the subject and made me feel like I was actually learning something were Zettili's book and the Balakrishnan lectures on youtube.
  12. Jul 9, 2012 #11
    Thanks every body! I got Zettili book as most of you suggested. It's just awesome!!! Quantum mechanic really needed this book for long time. Why anybody in earth should bother to read Griffith :yuck:
  13. Jul 9, 2012 #12
    Enjoy! I still have to suffer through the second semester of Griffiths myself. However, now that I have Zetilli, I am armed and dangerous :cool: Another comment, Griffiths' exercises are indeed quite useful and insightful. If you have both books and really want to learn QM solidly, read Zetilli, do exercises and then come back to ones (especially with 2-3 stars) in Griffiths.

    Btw, speaking of bad books, there is a copy of Griffiths in the field of Thermal Physics. Specifically, its the title "Thermal Physics" by Daniel Schroeder. Compared to Griffiths, this book is even more of a joke (at times, literally, as he uses a magician with wand and a rabbit to explain concepts such as entropy, ethalpy, etc). Stay away! Instead, the books by Kittel and T.Hill (statistical mechanics) seem decent (especially so if you have already had some quantum mechanics).
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