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Recommended quantum mechanics books?

  1. Sep 11, 2013 #1
    I am a high school student and I have found the desire to figure out quantum mechanics and electrodynmics, I am currently a sophomore and am learning algebra 2 and trig. I have no previous knowledge of physics, pre calc, calc, or even trig. I understand it seems dumb and or foolish I want to learn physics without learning trig first. I am starting to learn pre calc(self taught) and have started reading a book on the history of quantum mechanics. I am determined to learn and understand what quantum mechanics and electrodynamics are before I graduate. After saying this I would like to hear any suggestions on physics texts books or books that will help me learn.

    Note, I would also like to learn physics so my next year ap physics class is more understandable.

    Thank you for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2013 #2
  4. Sep 11, 2013 #3
    Oh Richard Feynman he reinvented qed(well solved it to make it finite), I will definitely look into that. What do I need to know to actually understand what it tells me? What are the physics and mathematics courses needed to comprehend it?
  5. Sep 12, 2013 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    The things in bold above are two different things. You can learn what electrodynamics is (it is the science of changing electrical fields) and why it's important, and you can even take our word for it that electromagnetic radiation traveling at speed c is predicted by this science, all without any math at all.
    But you cannot learn electrodynamics without first learning trig and then basic calculus. You'll also need multi-variable and vector calculus, but you can pick these up in parallel with learning electrodynamics.
  6. Sep 12, 2013 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Feynman's "QED" you can handle with the mathematical background you already have - it's a classic of the "I can't teach you the science, but at least I can tell you what the science does" style of science writing, and I highly recommend it.

    To actually understand quantum mechanics, you need multi-variable calculus, some differential equations, and some linear algebra. There aren't any shortcuts here.
  7. Sep 12, 2013 #6
    My advice is be patient, and work hard/ask lots of questions once you take the course.
  8. Sep 12, 2013 #7
    You should think of learning trig and calculus as part of learning Physics. Newton had to invent calculus so he could complete his work on mechanics. It all starts there.
  9. Sep 12, 2013 #8
    Ok would you recommend any pre calc or cqlc books? I will lok into physics once I have complete pre calc
  10. Sep 13, 2013 #9
    Maybe start with a non-textbook like Calculus Made Easy.

    But you'll find plenty of other recommendations if you search through this subforum.
  11. Sep 13, 2013 #10


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    Homework Helper

    Algebra 2 and Trig are what you need to know for calculus, so do the best you can in them, try to master them. Then you'll be ready for calculus and whatever comes after that.
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