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Recommend Quantum Physics book

  1. Apr 21, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone I'm having a little trouble in my class and part of the reason is because my book is very confusing to me. The book is:

    Quantum Physics: A Fundamental Approach to Modern Physics by John S. Townsend

    What sidebook would anyone recommend for me so I can get a better grasp of the material. Anything that gives me more problems to solve with a solution manual would be helpful. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2012 #2
    For an upper division course, Shankar is pretty clear.

    I'm not a fan personally but most people seem to like Griffiths.

    If you've been exposed to quantum already then I highly recommend Sakurai.
  4. Apr 21, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I haven't seen Townsend's book myself, but according to the blurb and reviews on amazon.com, it's intended for a second-year "introductory modern physics" course, preceding a full-on quantum mechanics course which would use something like Griffiths, Shankar or Sakurai.

    Townsend appears to take a non-traditional approach to the course. For a more traditional, historically oriented approach, you might try Taylor et al (which I used for a few years in my course)


    or Krane


    or one of the others that turn up as "also viewed" when you go to the Amazon pages.
  5. Apr 21, 2012 #4
    Yes jtbell it does seem like a non-traditional approach that's why it has been difficult for me to get help online. Thank you for the suggestions but I'm trying to find an ebook so if anyone can send me a link of some.
  6. Apr 21, 2012 #5


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    Gold Member

    Taylor is not available as an eBook however Serway and Jewett https://www.amazon.com/Physics-Scientists-Engineers-Chapters-ebook/dp/B005HEUCBQ is. This is in print replica form on Kindle so does not suffer from the problems of poor mobi or ePub formatting.

    Also Morrison http://www.ebooks.com/802509/modern-physics/morrison-john/. This is a PDF eBook so is the same as the hardcopy.

    If you check both Amazon and ebooks.com you'll likely find other alternative eBooks that will suit your needs.
  7. Apr 21, 2012 #6
    What is it about the book that you find confusing? I used that book and happened to really like it, I'm curious to know why it fails for you. There's a lot of different topics covered in that book, so any recommended side material will depend on which part you need help with. Unfortunately, I can't recommend you anything since Townsend is usually the book I recommend for modern physics. :P

    If you're looking for more problems/solutions, maybe try Schaum's guides? Not sure if they come as ebooks though.
  8. Apr 22, 2012 #7
    Yes rhombusjr your exactly right it's the problem/solutions I have trouble with. Seems for me that sometimes I don't exactly understand what I need to do and I wish it had a solution manual. Can you tell me exactly what the book is?
  9. Apr 27, 2012 #8
    Yeah, I'll agree that Townsend's problems are tricky, but where would the fun be if he just told you the solution in the text? :P
    Schaum's guides are a series. Google and find the one that covers the topic you need help on. I can't tell you exactly what book unless you tell me exactly what your problem is. I'm sure your school's library also has many books on any topic you're having trouble with. Also don't forget about your professor's office hours.
  10. Apr 27, 2012 #9
    I skimmed Townsend a bit. His coverage of wave mechanics looks fairly traditional to me. You can find plenty of books covering the same material in any good college library. But I'm really impressed by the references from more recent experiments that he marshals in the text.
  11. Apr 27, 2012 #10
    One benefit of the Griffiths book is that the problems are actually fairly simple in terms of mathematics and are usually straightforward.
  12. Jul 11, 2012 #11
    Townsend is actually our professor. I think the book lacks rigor. Many things are not clearly presented. It seems he wants to say something in the book, but he just doesn't. I had to go to him and ask what really was going on. And I venture to say that most of your confusion comes from this fact, because that was the source of my confusion. I think anyone who uses this book should concentrate on the 2-7 chapters. The later chapters are just way too hand-wavy. My advice is to get a more rigorous book, such as that of Sakurai. Of course, Sakurai may not be appropriate to aid Townsend. I don't know of a rigorous QM book on the same level as Townsend, but that's the direction you should go for--rigor.
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