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Studying Tips on learning quantum mechanics

  1. Apr 5, 2017 #1
    I'm just starting my journey into physics. I am looking for good quantum mechanics books or articles if anyone has some ideas be sure to let me know.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Leonard Susskind's book: Quantum Mechanics The Theoretical Minimum might be a good light start.
  4. Apr 5, 2017 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    What math do you know already - algebra? trigonometry? single-variable calculus? multi-variable calculus? differential equations? linear algebra?
  5. Apr 5, 2017 #4


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    While reading the various posts here on PF over times that deal with "interpretations" of quantum physics, I got the impression, that it is best to concentrate on the mathematics behind the models and less - or better not at all - about any comparisons with macroscopic similarities. Apparently one can always find aspects, at which they are doomed to fail, regardless which interpretation one favors. Funnily enough, nobody seems to bother that we cannot really imagine the shape of a unitary group or operator, or an infinite dimensional Hilbert space either. Those concepts are taken for granted and nobody is arguing over their "reality". However, as soon as it comes to wave functions, various debates get started. So my 2 ct are: don't bother "reality", take the math instead and always remember, that nobody has ever seen a "real" circle, but this doesn't prevent us from dealing with them.
  6. Apr 5, 2017 #5
    In addition to what jtbell asked, have you had any previous exposure to physics? You mentioned you are just starting your journey in physics. It may not be a good idea to jump straight into quantum mechanics.

    We need to know your math background as well as any exposure to physics you have had.
  7. Apr 6, 2017 #6
    The level and background are important. The Feynman Lectures is probably the most accessible treatment for a wide range of backgrounds.
  8. Apr 6, 2017 #7
    I have a good background in Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus. Even though I taught myself most of what I know about all three subjects as well as what I know about physics. the more advanced math of quantum mechanics I understand decently I require either the teacher or the books so I can get taught. The school system doesn't teach these advanced ideas that I love to learn.
  9. May 24, 2017 #8
    Go through the quantum mechanics section of a freshmen physics textbook, then go through the quantum mechanics section(s) of a Modern Physics textbook, then go through Griffiths Quantum Mechanics (imo not the best for self-study since it doesn't have an even or odd answers to problems section, but it is the go to for undergraduate QM right now). Then go through J.J. Sakurai's QM. I've never looked at J. J. Sakurai's QM, but its the go to for graduates. Partial Differential Equations is the minimum math you'll want to know for QM. You probably won't need PDE's for most of the problems in any of these books until you get to J. J. Sakurai's, but if you actually want to understand QM you need to know what a PDE is. The Schrodinger Equation is the fundamental equation for QM and guess what, its a Partial Differential Equation. Good luck on this adventure!!
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