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Question about Learning Quantum Physics

  1. Aug 26, 2005 #1
    Hi quantum people :smile: ,

    I am so interested in quantum physics. I want to study this subject on my own. I have taken these math classes:

    Calculus I
    Calculus II
    Calculus III
    Differential Equations
    Linear Algebra
    Probability and Statistics

    And these physics courses:

    University Physics I
    University Physics II

    What kind of math and physics courses I need to have for better understanding of QM?

    Any Suggestions would help.


  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2005 #2


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    This is too obvious of a question not to be asked.

    If you are planning on taking a QM class in college, shouldn't a description of that class also contain the prerequisites to take that class? This should tell you exactly the level you need.

  4. Aug 26, 2005 #3


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    The questioner clearly stated it was for self study.

    That is a good background (at least for a start).
    There with no doubt gaps in mathematics. A basic book of applied mathematics would be helpful.
  5. Aug 26, 2005 #4


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    Oops. I missed that part.

  6. Aug 26, 2005 #5
    pick up a book

    Given your background I would get a book on Modern physics or
    an intro book to quantum.

    Quantum Mechanics by Ohanian
    is a good intro.
    A book that is applied to spectroscopy might also be a good start
    because it applies QM directly to more tangible problems.

    Look at Atoms and Molecules by Karplus and Porter
  7. Aug 26, 2005 #6

    Thanks for help
  8. Aug 26, 2005 #7
    I would recommend getting a firmer background in some classical mechanics, such as Lagrange's equations and Hamilton's equations. You don't need a lot of depth, but it makes the intuition about the problems a little firmer.
  9. Aug 27, 2005 #8
    All you really need to know to do QM is linear algebra and calculus (basic QM that is)
  10. Aug 27, 2005 #9
    I was wondering if linear algebra was developed because of QM.
  11. Aug 28, 2005 #10
    That is a good question. I think linear algebra already existed at the end of the 19th century (therefore, before QM). The most important theorems had already been put forth by Jacobi, Calley etc.

    I think Heisenberg periodicaly asked Jacobi for help
  12. Aug 28, 2005 #11


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    It is fairly common that the mathematical theory exists before the physicists want to use it... but after that point, the needs of physicists often become one of the many factors that contribute to the direction in which the theory is developed.
  13. Aug 28, 2005 #12
    you may want to start with the dirac method
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