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Suitability of Sakurai

  1. Feb 16, 2009 #1

    I was advised to learn QM from Sakurai since I was interested in learning QM. However, my university's library doesn't have a copy so I can't look through it to decide if it is suitable.

    I am familiar with all the basic linear algebra (orthogonality, diagonalisation, eigenvectors, vector spaces) and will be learning more from Friedberg. I don't have much experience with de's except for the basics and the basic use of operators and computational solutions. I've read from this forum that these are the two that are most needed.

    I've done first year physics along the lines of Knight and HRW and read a bit of Modern Physics by Harris. I've gotten tired though by the way we are assumed to not be able to understand any of the "real" stuff and are treated to condensed and simplified versions where only special cases are considered.

    Please advise on the suitability and alternatives as required. Or what I'd need to study before I can jump in.

    PS I looked at the first chapter of Ballentine which my library does have and found it to be at a reasonable level, not so difficult that I had to stop somewhere. Is Sakurai more difficult?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2009 #2

    George Jones

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    Ballentine and Sakurai are at about the same level. For comments about Ballentine, see


    At lower level, but still at a much higher level than modern physics texts, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by David Griffiths is good for self-study.
  4. Feb 16, 2009 #3
    Sakurai uses strictly ket notations. If you are never introduced to ket notations it might be a little hard to follow

    QM by Bransden and Joachain uses classical notations which maybe familiar with more people.
  5. Feb 16, 2009 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    If you've only had a year of physics then I wouldn't even recommend going as high as Griffiths. I would start with Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, and Nuclei (or something like that) by Eisberg and Resnick. Simply knowing linear algebra isn't enough, you also have to learn how to solve wave equations with different potentials. That book will step you through it.
  6. Feb 16, 2009 #5
    If you mean solving, the Schrodinger equation for different situations then I think I've covered that in Modern Physics... up to the 3D case and hydrogen atom.

    Perhaps I should have a look at Eisberg Resnick. Would be good to go and cover nuclear physics as well.

    PS I just read the first chapter of Gasiorowicz and realised that all their energy is quoted in ergs. o_O

    PPS Would Landau be better?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
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