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Quantum Physics beginner books?

  1. Nov 17, 2014 #1
    Hi, can anyone recommend some good beginner quantum physic books? I don't have much knowledge of the subject and am looking for a good starting point.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2014 #2

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    Depends on your math background.

    Assuming a smattering of Calculus I really like Lenny Susskinds books:
    https://www.amazon.com/The-Theoretical-Minimum-Start-Physics/dp/0465075681
    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Mechanics-The-Theoretical-Minimum/dp/0465036678

    There is also companion video lectures:
    http://theoreticalminimum.com/

    And if you don't know calculus its really so important becoming acquainted with it is well worth your time - it will enrich your understanding of QM, and physics in general, immeasurably:
    https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Calculus-Self-Teaching-Guide-Edition/dp/0471827223

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Nov 17, 2014 #3
    The Suskind video lectures are great. A pleasure to watch. Very accessible.

    C
     
  5. Nov 17, 2014 #4

    atyy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Susskind's book is very good, but it doesn't collect all the postulates of quantum mechanics in one place, instead he prefers to spread them out in various chapters as he takes you through the subject. As a complement, one can use Braam Gaasbeek's "An Introductory Course on Quantum Mechanics" http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.4184, which gathers the postulates in section 4.3.2. They are not the most general postulates, but they are general enough that the subsequent generalizations are technical. The one thing I don't like about Gaasbeek's book is the last chapter on philosophy, which seems to me to explain the problem wrongly, focussing on randomness, rather than the lack of definite outcomes from reversible evolution of the wave function.
     
  6. Nov 17, 2014 #5

    td21

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Richard feynman vol 3
     
  7. Nov 18, 2014 #6
    Thanks all for your replies. I have minimal education in calculus, so I need a refresher course. I think Ill start with that and maybe one of Susskinds books. Ive never read any of his works, but Ive heard of him countless times.

    Just curious, has anyone read Quantum Reality by Nick Herbert? Thoughts?

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2014 #7

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    Yea - read it years ago.

    Its in the pop-sci mould and espouses this conciousness being involved stuff (from Wikipdeia):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Herbert_(physicist)
    Herbert supports a holistic interpretation of quantum physics. He has argued for "quantum animism" in which mind permeates the world at every level. Werner Krieglstein wrote regarding his quantum animism:
    “Herbert's quantum animism differs from traditional animism in that it avoids assuming a dualistic model of mind and matter. Traditional dualism assumes that some kind of spirit inhabitats a body and makes it move, a ghost in the machine. Herbert's quantum animism presents the idea that every natural system has an inner life, a conscious center, from which it directs and observes its action.'

    It really is a very backwater view amongst professional physicists, even though he is an actual physicist. IMHO, and I don't like to say this, but his views verge on quackery. Forget them.

    Here is a much better primer on what QM is REALLY about:
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec9.html

    Nothing to do with pop-sci mysticism.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
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