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[Quantum Theory] Quality Texts

  1. Sep 1, 2012 #1
    Hello all,

    I am new to the forums here. My background is biochemistry and I currently work in a medical laboratory. What brings me here is a new found interest in physics, in particular, quantum theory. I would like to learn much more ranging from the basics to M theory etc..

    I would greatly appreciate if someone could point me in the direction of some quality texts that cover these topics. Keep in mind, my background in physics is limited, including one year of physics, a year of physical chemistry and two years of calculus. Therefore, I feel I have the background to understand technical information but need some basic quantum theory to work my way up to the more advanced concepts.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2012 #2


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    Re: Quality Texts

    Take a look at Ballentine's "QM -- A Modern Development" via Amazon's "look inside" feature and see whether you're comfortable with the level of math that he uses.
    If you can handle that, it's certainly a good QM book to study.
  4. Sep 6, 2012 #3
    Re: Quality Texts

    I took a good look at this book and I suppose the better question is what mathematics should I learn to prepare myself for learning advanced physics?

    I'm assuming that I need some linear algebra, Multi-variable Calc and differential equations. What about discrete? I've had Calc I, Calc II, Advanced Statistics, trig, analytical geometry.
  5. Sep 6, 2012 #4
    You need a lot of linear algebra. Ballentine uses functional analysis at a high level. Shilov's Elementary Functional Analysis is a good survey of that sort of maths. You also need multivariate calculus, not on the level of, say, Calculus on Manifolds, but at least enough to ace a final exam in an honors course of "Calculus III."

    I would also look at Aaronson's lecture notes on quantum computing in addition to Ballentine. He is turning this into a book which is to be released in a few months.
  6. Sep 7, 2012 #5


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    Re: Quality Texts

    That doesn't give us enough detailed information on your current background. If you start reading the first chapter, how far do you get before you hit some maths you totally don't understand?

    Sometimes, jumping into the deep end can work...
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