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Where's the first place I should go to learn QM?

  1. Jan 29, 2014 #1
    I need the math. I get a little bored doing the low level stuff, and want to jump into it. As long as I'm interested I won't get bored. I started the other thread discrete wave functions below, and realized I like everything about QM. Hopefully I don't get bored.

    Sorry I just read the forum rules, please move this thread.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2014 #2


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    It's hard to say, where to start, because you didn't tell us, what you already know. On the physics side you should be pretty familiar with classical (Newtonian) mechanics in its formulation in Hamiltonian canonical formalism and Poisson brackets. On the math side you should have a good knowledge of linear algebra, including complex vector spaces with a scalar product and some calculus, including Fourier transformation.

    Then I'd recommend to start with modern books that do not use the historical way of teaching QT. A good example is J. J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics, which our professor of the QM 1 theory lecture recommended. I think that's a pretty nice starting point with the right balance between math and physics. You should not get involved too much in the formalities of functional analysis in the beginning, but later it is good to have at least some knowledge about the subtleties of, e.g., operators with a continuous spectrum, the rigged Hilbert space, etc.
  4. Jan 29, 2014 #3

    Meir Achuz

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    Take a class.
  5. Jan 30, 2014 #4


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    For the math- depends... if you are new into QM, I'd suggest some probability theory...
    Also partial derivative equations solutions and eigen-vector/value problems (are they called the Louivile? I don't remember for sure). And matrices can help too, once you work in the dirac notation - but you'll find it out yourself XD
  6. Jan 30, 2014 #5
    Try "Quantum Mechanics" By David Griffiths. A fantastic author, and the textbook we use for class. He will give you the math and physics background you need.
  7. Jan 30, 2014 #6


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    does really Griffith ever give the math needed?
    He is very good in giving the physics though, in that I'll agree.

    Also in general, I think Gasiorovich is good, but you need a stronger backround...
  8. Jan 31, 2014 #7
    What exactly is your mathematical background at this point? If you're still in the calc sequence, I would recommend a modern physics book that introduces quantum at the intro level. You still get plenty of math but not quite the level if Griffiths. I used Modern Physics by Raymond A. Serway for my intro modern class and would recommend it.
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