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Quantum Theory Book Recommendations

  1. Mar 19, 2010 #1
    I wasn't really sure if here was where I should be posting such a question, but all the same;

    I'm currently taking a Modern Physics course and find myself struggling immensely with some of the problems and derivations, particularly when it comes to Schrödinger's equations.

    I was wondering if someone may recommend some supplementary reading I could do on my own that was a good introduction to quantum physics. I am really just starting this year so it would be nice if the concepts were still quite basic.

    Thanks so much in advance for helping me with my dilemma.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2010 #2
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  4. Mar 20, 2010 #3
    Thanks so much! This helps a lot. I'll definitely be looking at all of your suggestions.
    The book I'm using now is Modern Physics 3rd edition by Serway, Moses and Moyer. I did want something aimed a little more specifically at quantum physics though

    Thank you again for your suggestion!
  5. Mar 29, 2010 #4


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  6. Apr 25, 2010 #5

    I really doubt that Isham's book would be of much use as an introduction, rather something to read after finishing a graduate course in QM.

    My personal favorite (though I am not sure how introductory you need it to be) is Zettili's:


    It is recent (& uses Dirac's notation), affordable (paperback) & suitable for both undergrad & grad courses (it is short a few topics for a graudate course, e.g. relativstic QM).
    It also has tons of solved problems at the end of every chapter.
    You can preview it here:

    Shankar is good as well (grad level).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  7. Apr 25, 2010 #6


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    I think the perfect time to read it is during a first course in QM which is based on one of the standard introductory texts. I find the end of your sentence really odd, but then "graduate" seems to mean very different things in different countries. I would consider any text on QM to be undergraduate material, including e.g. Ballentine (which many think is the best advanced book, and no one would like as an introductory text). I think Isham is still worth reading even after finishing an advanced course, but then you can probably read it cover to cover in less than a week.
  8. Apr 25, 2010 #7
    Isham's book has an emphasis that is not going to be much help with "problems and derivations, particularly when it comes to Schrödinger's equations."

    I'd recommend Eisberg & Resnick.
  9. Apr 27, 2010 #8


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    I haven't used that book myself, but based on the table of contents at amazon.com, it looks like a typical second-year "intro modern physics" book. I've used Beiser and Taylor/Zafiratos/Dubson, which have pretty much the same sequence of topics. As a category, they're about as basic as you can get in their treatment of QM. Any "real" QM textbook (e.g. Griffiths) is a step up in sophistication.

    You might look at some other books at the same level, because they do differ in style and emphasis on various topics, and you might benefit from the different viewpoints. Of the two that I mention above, Beiser is slimmer and more "basic" whereas Taylor/Zafiratos/Dubson is thicker and a bit "wordier".

    I consider Eisberg and Resnick to be physically difficult to read because of its layout: wide single-column pages of smallish text, with long paragraphs. It can be a real slog at times. At least that's the case with my copy, which must be twenty years old now. Maybe newer printings have a more user-friendly layout. It does go into more detail than most "intro modern physics" books, which is why I keep it around as a reference. It even has a fair amount of detail on the Bohr-Sommerfeld "old quantum mechanics" which preceded Schrödinger et al.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
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