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What's a thorough QM book besides Dirac?

  1. Jun 25, 2012 #1
    Hi, PF. I've got a question for you. Maybe this would be better posted in the science education or discussion sections, but it's directly related to QM. I'm just finishing up my undergrad coursework and I've taken QM using Griffiths. It's an okay book, but it does a bit of jumping around, and it's not fully rigorous mathematically as far as building up the formalism goes. I'm trying to latex my notes from the quarter in a way that's very thorough and I've been using Dirac to fill in all the gaps left by Griffiths. However, Dirac uses notation that I find strange and unnatural at times. Maybe some of it is just a touch outdated? (Bra-ket is not the problem. I'm totally fine with that.) Although very thorough, Dirac's writing can also be kind of clunky at times.

    Q: I was wondering if anyone knows of another QM book that presents the formalism as thoroughly as Dirac, so I have a second reference to crosscheck and reinforce my understanding.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2012 #2


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    Try Ballentine -- it's intended as a graduate text.
    (Depends what you mean by "rigorous", of course. Ballentine is not rigorous by mathematician standards, but probably better that Griffiths, imho.)

    P.S., I know what you mean about Dirac -- his writings contain a wealth of insights that can be difficult to obtain elsewhere, but it can also be a struggle to extract that wealth... :-(
  4. Jun 25, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the tip! I actually suspected it might be a graduate level text I was looking for.
  5. Jun 26, 2012 #4


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    I know Ballentine is good. Zettili gets very good reviews, but I haven't read it. For people who want to understand the theory better, rather than learn how to calculate stuff, I always recommend "Lectures on quantum theory: Mathematical and structural foundations" by Chris Isham. To understand the math better, you should start with Axler's book on linear algebra. To understand it really well, you would have to study analysis, topology, integration theory and lots of functional analysis.
  6. Jun 26, 2012 #5
  7. Jun 26, 2012 #6
    I suggest Sakurai, a graduate text that covers the formalism pretty thoroughly.
  8. Jun 30, 2012 #7
    Thanks. I ended up grabbing Messiah at the library. It was actually really helpful.
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