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Quantum Mechanics Texts

  1. Jul 28, 2004 #1
    I'm a mathematics grad student looking to take graduate quantum mechanics in the fall. The prof isn't using a text, but I think I might want to have one around in case. Are there any Quantum Mechanics texts that are like a Rudin is to Analysis?
     
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  3. Jul 28, 2004 #2
    One other thing, I haven't taken any physics since calculus based introductory physics, like Halliday, Resnick.

    Also, are there texts like this for the other core areas of physics like Grad E+M, Grad Mechanics, and Grad Thermodynamics?
     
  4. Jul 28, 2004 #3

    robphy

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    Check out http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~abhishek/chicphys.htm
    (Scroll down... this links should point to lower portions of the page... but the links have a typo in them.)
     
  5. Jul 29, 2004 #4

    Galileo

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    My class used Griffith's introduction to Quantum Mechanics. The book may be
    nice for use in class because of the problems, but for self-study it sucks.

    I highly recommend Cohen Tannoudji's "Quantum Mechanics".
    The text is clear, elaborate and pedagogically written.
     
  6. Jul 29, 2004 #5

    ZapperZ

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    So am I the only one here who is ..... er..... "amused" by the fact that this person is going to be enrolling in a GRADUATE level QM class with only intro physics background? I mean, think about it. Would someone who has completed a year's worth of classes using Halliday and Resnick, be able to comprehend the material coming out of, let's say, Sakurai's "Modern Quantum Mechanics" or even Merzbacher's "Quantum Mechanics" (both of which are typical graduate level texts)? Merzbacher, for instance, doesn't bother much with a single harmonic oscillator (he assumes you have already seen that in undergrad QM), he goes quickly to DOUBLE harmonic oscillator! He also doesn't waste time with simple square well potential in tunneling problems (again, something that one should already know in undergrad QM), he goes quickly into WKB approximation!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing. If you can do it, hey, more power to you. Maybe I'm just jealous because I am not smart enough and had to go through all the steps in between to get to that stage! :)

    Zz.
     
  7. Jul 29, 2004 #6
    well, he is a math grad, so he should have a good background on the mathematics. Good luck man.
     
  8. Jul 29, 2004 #7
    He is going to need all the luck he can get. QM is more than just applied mathematics.
     
  9. Jul 29, 2004 #8
    This thread reminds me of a hotshot electrical engineering student we had in Classical Electrodynamics. On his first exam, he scored THREE out of 100. When the professor placed our graded exams out by his doorstep, he made sure to place the engineering student's on the top.

    We felt bad for him, so we stuck it in the middle of the pack. Two hours later, it was back on the top of the stack. Obviously the professor was sending a message.
     
  10. Jul 29, 2004 #9

    Tom Mattson

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    I love Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. It's interesting to read, the exercises are instructive, and it provides a smooth transition to QFT.
     
  11. Jul 29, 2004 #10

    Njorl

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    I liked Cohen-Tannoudji as well.

    I agree with JohnDubya. More than any other physics course, I think QM is not just applied math. The actual math involved is some of the easiest you'll encounter in graduate physics, but the concepts are some of the hardest.

    Njorl
     
  12. Jul 29, 2004 #11

    Njorl

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    My undergrad EM fields proffessor earned his BA in music, his masters in biology, then "on a whim", thought "getting a PhD in physics would be fun". I wanted to hit him.

    I remember undergrad quantum. We got into it like you'd get into a tub full of ice water. It seemed one by one we each had our own epiphanies as we "got it". I can't see plowing through it without this indoctrination, like we did in grad school.

    Njorl
     
  13. Jul 29, 2004 #12
    I used Alberty and Silbey's Physical Chemistry for my undergrad P Chem course. Don't be fooled though, PHYSICAL Chemistry is all about the physics behind Chemistry. This book was very hard to follow, it could easily be, and probably should have been, used in a grad course. Half of the book is dedicated to a very indepth treatment of thermodynamics. The beginning of the second half is for QM and applications of QM such as spectroscopy etc. I'm sure there are physics text on QM that go into more detail into QM, but with this book you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone, thermo and QM. This book provides a very rigorous explanation for thermo and basics of QM.
     
  14. Jul 29, 2004 #13

    Njorl

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    Interesting. I noticed that most curricula present thermo first, then quantum. This just seems all wrong to me. I remember the first time I studied thermo, it was very unintuitive. I didn't really grasp what I was learning. Actually, I was learning how to solve problems, but not learning any physics. It wasn't until grad school that I learned the quantum foundations of thermo (stat mech really).

    It is ironic that this sort of parallels the life (and death) of Boltzman. Had he developed his theories on the behavior of gases after quantum mechanics became accepted, he might not have had such a terrible time of it.

    Njorl
     
  15. Jul 29, 2004 #14
    I guess I feel after Rudin, you've pretty much established yourself as a scholar. I've come into contact with all kinds of stuff that comes from quantum in stochastic processes, mathematical finance, functional analysis, etc. I figure the math won't be hard at all leaving me to concentrate on the rest of the stuff.

    I'm also wondering if the way to go for the good physics is to skip physics undergrad and concentrate on the math. Physics undergrad courses from my indirect contact (friends taking the classes, etc.) always seemed to be too informal and boring and Gawd do I hate lab.
     
  16. Jul 29, 2004 #15
    I'm also leaning towards Landau's book. Sakarai seems a little expensive and extravagant.
     
  17. Jul 29, 2004 #16
    Jackson's 'Classical Electrodynamics' and Goldstein's 'Classical Mechanics' are pretty much standard graduate texts for the first two subjects. I imagine you'll have no problems with the mathematics.

    I think you should at least become familiar with some standard results from the undergraduate physics courses before diving into the graduate stuff. You'll thank yourself for it later.
     
  18. Jul 29, 2004 #17
    USE BRANSDEN AND JOACHAIN

    THEY ROCK YOUR QM-WORLD

    from
    marlon brando
     
  19. Jul 30, 2004 #18

    vanesch

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    All carreer paths are imaginable, but aren't you affraid of learning to fly before knowing how to walk ? I think there is undergrad material you should know. Of course you shouldn't follow the typical undergrad courses, which are meant also to get you to some maturity (which you have acquired elsewhere). But there is simple stuff you should know by heart.

    Also, a future physicist who says that he hates experimental work is probably like a medical doctor who hates sick people :-)

    cheers,
    Patrick.
     
  20. Jul 30, 2004 #19

    ZapperZ

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    As a case in point, Jackson's book covers the whole undergraduate electrostatic material not just in one chapter, but in the INTRODUCTION of the book, for heavens sake! He fully expects that you already know your undergraduate material by the time you start this book. If you don't, you should stick a fork in you, cuz you're done!

    Zz.
     
  21. Jul 30, 2004 #20
    Agreed. Bransden and Joachim rocks! But tough to find when I was in grad school. Has it come back into print?
     
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