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What books do you recommend for reference?

  1. Dec 22, 2005 #1
    At first I want to know the relationships of the math/formulae on QM and their phylosophical meanings. I've read some books for general public, and have basic idea. So now I'm feeling it's a nice time to learn further.

    I have some knowledge on electrodynamics (I don't know how much level I can say; I don't know the criteria. At least I can explain several phenomena based on Maxwell equations), and theory of relativety. But I didn't learn QM so much.

    So I want to learn QM and now am reading Greiner's "Quantum Mechanics-an introduction, 4th ed". I chose this one because it has a lot of calculations and I want to calculate by myself. And this book has a lot of exercises I can try and can do to confirm my knowledge. I am learning just for fun (not for research myself, because I'm not professional on physics), but I want to bind math and its meanings, because I personally think it's important and want to trace past researcher's works; how they worked and how they deduced principles. I know I'm very special in this sense; not professional, but want to trace researcher's work. Fortunately I'm good at math. Even if a new concept is given, I will be good at it in a short time.

    There are many physics forums such as this on the Internet I can ask. But this forum looks the best.

    When I was a high school student I studied theory of relativety, special and general up to blackhole (no further), and when I was a university student I wrote a program in C to trace photon passing near a blackhole with the mass of the earth (around 7mm diameter, Schwarzschild radius. 16 years ago.)

    For such a guy, what do you recommend (books or online references) to know the general, but specific knowledge on QM. I am not sure QED is necessary to me, or it may be necessary. Again I want books mentioning relationships between the formulae and its phylosophical meanings, and how researchers reached there. If it contains exercises, it's much helpful.

    BTW now I'm developing for setiathome_enhanced and astropulse in the near future at boinc (see beta test and SETI@home.) If you are interested in it, you can easily run those programs in the background on several OS's. And it's my base now (I'm developing for Berkeley at beta test project. This is my another personal project than QM or any other my interest on physics and it's my base.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2005 #2


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    I'd say you're looking for an undergraduate QM textbook. I'd suggest Griffiths for philoshopical connections, Sakurai for mathematical rigor.

    - Warren
  4. Dec 22, 2005 #3
    Thank you!

    Especially I'm interested in Sakurai's. I've read reviews on Amazon's site on these two books " Modern Quantum Mechanics" and "Advanced Quantum Mechanics". The former will have many in common with my current book, and the latter will be better.

    Griffiths' books seems to coincide with my current book in several portions, and may be a waste of time and efforts...I'll think about it.... I may not need books on philosophical meanings. I need to think about it.

    Thank you very much!! And I would like to know other opinions also!
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2005
  5. Dec 22, 2005 #4


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    The one you should get is "Modern Quantum Mechanics", not "Advanced Quantum Mechanics". The "advanced" book is not at all what you're looking for. I would skip it completely. "Modern Quantum Mechanics" is a great book even if you've read other stuff about QM.

    It doesn't say much about how things were discovered though.
  6. Dec 22, 2005 #5
    Thank you! Looking at the index, "Modern.." looks a fit. Then how about QED?

    As far as I read reviews on these two books, "Modern QM" sounds a formal QM book, and "Advanced QM" is an intuitive, and introduction to QED... I'm wondering...and I'll decided in the meantime. I'm not in a hurry.

    EDIT: yes, I decided to buy "Modern..." :) Thanks! I'm satisfied with my current one (Greiner's QM) and its math explanations & exercises though it's a bit thick (about 480p) I don't care :)
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2005
  7. Jan 24, 2006 #6
    I ordered "Modern QM" by Sakurai and "Quantum Electrodynamics" by Greiner and the latter has come. I'm waiting for the former and hope it will arrive soon.
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