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The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (Dirac)

  1. Jan 6, 2012 #1
    How advanced is this text? The only exposition I've had to quantum mechanics is through "The Quantum Universe" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. That book was a nice introduction but now I'm looking for something a lot more in depth. Would someone with a strong mathematical background but only a slight exposure to quantum mechanics be able to cope with the Dirac book?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2012 #2


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    By "strong math background" I assume you have studied orthogonal functions, complex variables, PDE's, and are strong in linear algebra. How is your physics background? QM does build, after all, on classical mechanics and E&M.

    Dirac's book is advanced. Starting with a standard undergrad text like Griffiths and see how it goes. You can always move up if it's too easy.
  4. Jan 8, 2012 #3
    It was the book I learned from. I had a strong math background, but not so strong in physics. I like the book a great deal, but the biggest drawback is that there are no problems. There is a book with a similar name by Shankar that might be a better choice for a beginner.
  5. Jan 9, 2012 #4
    How much quantum mechanics was in your not so strong physics background? Does the Dirac book assume preknowledge of quantum mechanics?
  6. Jan 9, 2012 #5
    I'd say my physics background is pretty decent. I got through 3 courses from the MIT open courseware (classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, vibrations and waves). Would that be enough to go on?
  7. Jan 9, 2012 #6


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    About 1 month ago you were saying
    If you've went through these 3 courses from MIT open courses, I wonder in what depth. Just pointing this out for the other people to advise you. :smile:
  8. Jan 9, 2012 #7
    Yep. I've been extremely determined over the past month and have gotten through all that. Luckily I can pick up new concepts very quickly. Each course in the open courseware is about 25 lectures at one hour each, so they're pretty in depth (hope I'm not giving the impression that I rushed through it, I've just had the combination of a ton of spare time and eagerness)
  9. Jan 9, 2012 #8
    If you were able to zoom through the MIT lectures so quickly then why not work your way
    through Leonard Susskind's theoretical physics video lectures?


    Judging by your past experience this is exactly what you're looking for.
    Also, to test whether you've learned much from Lewin's lectures you should pick up a copy
    of https://www.amazon.com/000-Solved-Problems-Physics-Schaums/dp/0070257345
    If you're having problems with this then just save yourself innumerable headaches by picking
    up a standard physics book & just laying into it as you simultaneously develop more
    advanced mathematics.
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