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Text for hamiltonian mechanics?

  1. Oct 23, 2007 #1
    hello all,

    i'm an EE student,and i've recently started studying quantum mechanics.
    most text books start with schrodinger's equation directly but a few others (like say Liboff) start with the concept of hamiltonian from hamiltonian mechanics.
    is a knowledge of the same i.e hamiltonian/lagrangian mechanics essential for a thorough study of QM?
    if yes, could someone suggest a good, easy-to-understand text for the former?
    i tried referring a few books but they require knowledge of variational calculus.
    (i kinda feel the whole process frustrating, spending so much time on this chain of one book to other, ending up doing very little useful work)

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2007 #2
    a lot of people knock the newest edition of Marion, but i like its intro to calculus of variations. The book is Classical Dynamics of particles and systems by Marion, Thornton. Its chapter 6, 7, 8 that you're interested in. I also like Arya's book on classical mechanics. Im sure everybody is gonna suggest Landau.
  4. Oct 23, 2007 #3
    Actually I agree with you on Marion & Thornton. In particular, the derivation of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian is nice. I think Goldstein is often written with great clarity. To answer the other question, I do think having a solid background in CM will give you a better understanding of QM.
  5. Oct 24, 2007 #4
    Variational Principles in Dynamics and Quantum Theory
    by Yourgrau and Mandelstam might be interesting. The approach is more historical.
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