Where to start?

  • Thread starter poobar
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Hey all,
I am a current physics undergrad. Next semester I will be taking a course which covers quantum mechanics. I am really interested in the subject and want to do some reading and learning before I take the course. I am strong in calculus and I just completed a course in differential equations. Can you give me a good place to start/good website to read?

thanks
 

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  • #2
G01
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Your best bet is to probably buy your textbook early and crack it open.

As suggestions:

Griffith's is not a standard for QM, but it's a popular book. Unfortunately, it is lacking in its coverage of bra ket notation, which is very important.

Gasiorowicz is better with teaching bra-kets and operator algebra. However, it reads like a summary. I don't think it is anywhere near as well written as Griffiths.

I have also heard good things about Townshend's book, but have not read it myself.
 
  • #3
in my opinion there are perfect book to start with Quantum physics and Quantum mechanics "understanding quantum physics to Michel A. Morrison" the book not shallow and not complicated
 
  • #4
A. Neumaier
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Hey all,
I am a current physics undergrad. Next semester I will be taking a course which covers quantum mechanics. I am really interested in the subject and want to do some reading and learning before I take the course. I am strong in calculus and I just completed a course in differential equations. Can you give me a good place to start/good website to read?

thanks
http://de.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019
 
  • #5
G01
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This reference seems way too advanced to use as an introduction to quantum mechanics for an undergraduate.

The OP mentioned no background in group theory or lie algebras, only Calculus and Diff EQ.

However, it doesn't seem like a bad read for someone who already has some background in QM.
 
  • #6
A. Neumaier
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This reference seems way too advanced to use as an introduction to quantum mechanics for an undergraduate.

The OP mentioned no background in group theory or lie algebras, only Calculus and Diff EQ.

However, it doesn't seem like a bad read for someone who already has some background in QM.
The first half of the (free) book only needs elementary differential equations, the notion of partial derivatives, and some matrix calculus, no background in Lie algebras, groups, or quantum mechanics. (As mentioned at the beginning of Chapter 1, which refers to a little QM, readers can simply skip on first reading the details that are over their head.)

Lie algebras, Lie groups and quantum concepts are introduced, starting from scratch,
though of course some superficial familiarity with the basics would simplify the reading.
Moreover, there are lots of references to supplementary reading.

Things get advanced only in the last 40% of the book, starting with Part IV, where
some differential geometry and functional analysis is needed.
 
  • #7
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Gasiorowicz is better with teaching bra-kets and operator algebra. However, it reads like a summary. I don't think it is anywhere near as well written as Griffiths.
I think Gasiorowicz was possibly my least favorite text in my entire time as an undergrad. I don't like the organization, it is lacking on motivation and the "glue" which ties things together. I found it nearly impossible to learn from. We changed texts for the second semester because everybody hated the book. The second semester we used Bransden and Joachain, which nobody else has ever heard of. But it seemed much, much more logical and well organized to me.
 
  • #8
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I much prefer Bransden and Joachain to Griffiths, but the former use a little more math (Griffiths expects his readers are drooling math idiots).
 

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