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What are some good pedagogical QM papers?

  1. Jun 7, 2015 #1
    I did a search but couldn't find what I was looking for. I'm a physics student studying QM at the graduate level. I'm aware that "nobody truly understands QM" but I'd like to get as much insight and intuition as possible. Textbooks are good for learning to solve problems and learning the formalisms, but I tried reading a QM paper and felt like I didn't understand any of it. This was the paper, in case you're curious:


    I'd really like to read some papers on experiments that illustrate QM principles and tools, doesn't really matter how old they are since I'm not looking for the most cutting-edge research or findings (although non-archaic notation/terminology would be nice). I'm mainly interested in the papers' pedagogical usefulness for illustrating things like harmonic oscillators, angular momentum (rotation operators, angular momentum addition, spherical harmonics, etc.), symmetries, and what these things are all for.

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  3. Jun 7, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

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  4. Jun 7, 2015 #3
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  5. Jun 7, 2015 #4


    Staff: Mentor


  6. Jun 7, 2015 #5


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    I do not recommend Ballentine's nonstandard text - in particular, his Chapter 9 is highly misleading. Ballentine has spent his career attacking standard quantum mechanics, which continues to stand as our best theory. Also, it is not true that no one really understand quantum mechanics. The situation changed with the discovery of Bohmian Mechanics, which showed that the measurement problem has at least one solution in the realm of non-relativistic quantum mechanics.

    I would stick to any number of a standard texts such the following. Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu and Laloe and Sakurai are probably the best for angular momentum.
    Landau and Lifshitz https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Mechanics-Third-Edition-Non-Relativistic/dp/0750635398
    Cohen-Tannoudi, Diu and Laloe https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Mechanics-2-vol-set/dp/0471569526
    Sakurai and Napolitano https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Quantum-Mechanics-2nd-Edition/dp/0805382917
    Weinberg https://www.amazon.com/Lectures-Quantum-Mechanics-Steven-Weinberg/dp/1107028728
    Nielsen and Chuang https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Computation-Information-Anniversary-Edition/dp/1107002176
    Holevo https://www.amazon.com/Statistical-Structure-Quantum-Lecture-Monographs/dp/3540420827

    A survey foundational issues in QM is given by Laloe: http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0209123.
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  7. Jun 14, 2015 #6
    So that's a lot of recommendations, and I thank you for them, but I can tell you right off the bat I don't like most of Sakurai. I think a lot of the descriptions are confusing. It was a half-finished work and it shows (shame he was never able to truly finish the book), with all due respect to those who worked on finishing it.

    I like Shankar, which you didn't mention, and I have the first volume of CT. Which of the other books you recommended there would you say are best for learning applications? You know, putting it all together so it's not just a bunch of abstract formalisms but something with physical significance that a student can grasp? Thanks.
  8. Jun 14, 2015 #7
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