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Recommended Book For Entry to QM

  1. Aug 26, 2013 #1
    Hi guys, The other day I was struggling to to grasp some of the concepts in QM. I realised I would never understand without understanding the math. From what I know the following book is what they give to first year university students.

    I'm on page 20, and Im struggling. But I'm determined to finish it even if I don't understand all the math.
    Someone join me in struggling!

    Introduction to Quantum Mechanics - 2nd edition - by David_J._Griffiths
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2013 #2


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    Linear Algebra, Calculus, and Differential Equations are basically the math background required, from what I recall. Knowing classical physics wouldn't hurt either (which itself requires calc and diff eq to understand rigorously).
  4. Aug 26, 2013 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Aug 26, 2013 #4


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    http://theoreticalminimum.com/courses has a course in QM.

    I'm slogging through the entanglement lecture, which includes an intuitive view of the math. You'll need complex numbers and Matrices, but he makes it as painless as is possible and teaches a lot as he goes (in the entanglement class, anyway).
  6. Aug 27, 2013 #5
    Oxford university has a very good series of online lectures on QM. It shouldn't be too hard to find.
  7. Aug 29, 2013 #6
    Griffiths is a good book, but from experience you can't just blow through it as if you're reading a Dr. Seuss book, especially if you find some of the notation unfamiliar. Math is a language and like any language you have to first learn its notations. For starters, you should immediately recognize <j> as an average value of ALL j-values and understand the reason for normalization in statistics. Don't be afraid to read each sub-chapter over and over until you have a solid understanding of the material presented. With QM, this is VERY VERY important! Griffiths does a decent job at holding your hand as much as possible, but QM is not exactly intuitive and requires a strong grasp of math to DO effectively. I'm not exactly sure what part of the material you find difficult, but I'd guess that your understanding of linear algebra (specifically the meaning and purpose of "complex conjugates" like psi*) may not be strong enough at the moment. I STRONGLY suggest reading the appendix and fully understanding the notations and mathematical methods discussed if you want to make any sense of the subject. Maybe ask your current prof or a math prof for an introductory book on Linear Algebra that you can use for practice problems. Good luck and beware...even the simplest understanding of QM will permanently change your perception of reality, hopefully for the better.
  8. Aug 30, 2013 #7
    Without background of classical mechanics and mathematical knowledge, you can't learn QM. I suggest you give up.
  9. Aug 30, 2013 #8
    For physics major students who study hard, it is not very difficult to learn. If you lack relative background, please master them. Just do it. After that, you can learn.
  10. Aug 30, 2013 #9


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    Quantum mechanics is a junior/senior level university course, not a first year course. You need 2-3 years of college math and physics before you can really make any progress through that book.
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