Which version of Sakurai?

1. Aug 15, 2011

Geezer

The required textbook for my grad level quantum course is Sakurai's quantum book, 2nd edition. However, there seem to be several versions of the 2nd edition text, ranging from $25 to$155. Is the newest version of the 2nd edition book significantly different/better from other versions that it's worth paying more for?

2. Aug 16, 2011

fss

3. Aug 16, 2011

Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
I'm a little confused by the question, since there shouldn't be different versions of the same edition of a book, as far as I know. A different version would mean a different edition.

Could the price range mean that some of these books are actually used, and in varying condition?

4. Aug 16, 2011

Fra

Also note that Sakurai has at least two QM books I'm aware of, they are not the same.

"Modern quantum mechanics" and "advanced quantum mechanics".
But I'm note sure there IS a 2nd Ed of the latter book?

You better check with the teacher which book you should get. I'm not sure what you mean by graduate book though. I wouldn't call the first book a graduate book, not sure about the latter. The first one I used for undergraduate course (2nd course in QM). For relativistic QM and QED we had a teacher who relied on his own notes completely, but he referred to a ranged of optional books.

Not having seen it, my hunch is that "graduate book" must refer to the sedon book? but I haven't read it

/Fredrik

5. Aug 16, 2011

eri

It's probably the difference between the US and international editions. The international edition is the same book, but softcover and printed on very cheap paper. It's not technically supposed to be sold to the US, but many students end up with one by ordering the cheapest version they could find, without realizing what they were getting. I got a few that way through Amazon vendors (both Sakurai books). Just a warning, they took two months to arrive (glad I ordered early) and showed up wrapped in an Indian newspaper and twine. Probably traveled most of the way by mule. :)

6. Aug 16, 2011

Fra

Interesting, I just checked my old book and I've got second Ed "modern quantum mechanics". It's a proper hardback but it cracked in the binding so the book is pretty much in two pieces, which happened when the book was new, long time ago by now. It's unusual for hardback books to crack like that so the quality of the binding was bad. I don't see anything in it labelling as international edition though. ISBN = 0-201-53929-2. i bought mine new off the sheld in a big bookstore in Sweden though. So no mule import I think ;)

/Fredrik

7. Aug 16, 2011

Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
I had used Sakurai's Modern QM for a 1st-year grad level course. (In the USA, at SUNY Stony Brook, about 20 years ago.) There is no edition # on the book, so I presume it's 1st ed.

8. Aug 17, 2011

Fra

The preface to my second Ed of Saurai says these are the diffs (snipped):

"The major revisions are...
...reworking temp-independencet perturbation theory for degenerate case
...refinements on lifetime broadening in stark effect and additional explanations of phase shifts at resonances, optical theorem and non-renormalizable state
...reworking of coloumb scatering (to shorter text, relegating math to appendix C)

Though not a major part of the text, some of hte additions were deemed necessary to take into account developments in quantum mechanics sinces novembe 1, 1982
"

There are also a couple of supplements at end of book.

/Fredrik

9. Aug 17, 2011

G01

I also used Sakurai's "Modern QM" for my first semester graduate quantum course a few years ago.

I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that the first edition of the book has a black cover showing a block-diagonal matrix in red. In the second edition, the colors are inverted. i.e. The background is red, and the matrix is in black. That's probably the easiest way to tell the editions apart.

10. Aug 17, 2011

Fra

This is probably a US vs European school system thing, but what do you guys mean by graduate course? I assume it means post-graduation courses but what graduation does it refer to?

Anyone fulfilling the prerequsites are usually free to take any course they like, but I'm used to seeing "graduate course" referring to equivalent of courses for phD students etc. Most course, but not all up to say Masters degree is what would be labelled undergraduate courses here?

/Fredrik

11. Aug 17, 2011

Fra

Yes that's how mine look like and I've got second ed.

/Fredrik

12. Aug 17, 2011

Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
1st ed, black cover for me.

The Advanced QM book had a red cover, at least the edition being sold in the early 1990's did.

In the USA it means a course taken in graduate school. I.e., the student has already completed a 4-year bachelor's (=undergraduate) degree and is working toward either a master's or Ph.D degree -- usually at a different university than where the bachelor's was earned. Such students are referred to as graduate students over here; an undergraduate student is somebody working towards a 4-year bachelor's degree.

Hope that helps clear things up.

13. Aug 18, 2011

George Jones

Staff Emeritus
My revised first edition has a red cover; see

When I was a student, I think that my library's copy had a wine-coloured copy, but I am far from certain. I am fairly certain, though, that it did not look like