Physics 6336 Spring 2009

Course References

There are a million different texts available for quantum mechanics,
many of which are available in our library.  I'll list below a few
that I'll use for preparation of various parts of this course, or that
I've found useful learning the material myself.  I'll probably add
some more as we go along.  I won't put any on reserve to begin with, 
but will do so if you'd find that convenient.  Also, tell me if you 
have other favorite texts so I can add them to the list.


R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed, Plenum, 1994.
This text is widely used both for grad and undergrad courses.  It's supposed 
to be very good.  It may end up as the defacto text for the course.

E. Merzbacher, Quantum Mechanics, 3rd ed, Wiley, 1997.
This book has a very good reputation, though I haven't used it myself.
Along with Sakurai and Shankar, it seems to be the text of choice for
most grad quantum courses in the US.  I expect I'll be drawing material
from all three, along with others.

S. Borowitz, Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics, W. A. Benjamin, 1967.
This book gives the best discussion I know of the historical route that
led Schrödinger from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics via Hamilton-Jacobi
theory and the geometrical optics limit of waves, as well as the connection
between Feynman's path integral formulation and the principle of least action
in Lagrangian mechanics.  Even better, it's at the undergrad level.
I'll refer to it as we review classical mechanics.

L. Schiff, Quantum Mechanics, McGraw-Hill, 1968.
I'll use this for the hydrogen atom.  A bit difficult to read in general.

C. Cohen-Tannoudji, B. Diu, F. Laloe, Quantum Mechanics, Wiley, 1977.
It's a bit of an encyclopedia, but I really like this text.  I found it
very readable as a grad student, with lots of illustrations and applications.

G. Baym, Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, W. A. Benjamin, 1969. 
Lecture notes that we've used as a text in the past.

A. Messiah, Quantum Mechanics, North-Holland, 1961.
Another book with a good reputation that I haven't used.
It's just recently become available in a low-priced Dover edition.
The notation may be a bit out of date.

P. A. M. Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Oxford, 1995. 
A classic, though perhaps better appreciated after knowing some quantum
rather than as an introduction.

L. Landau, E. Lifshitz, Quantum Mechanics: Nonrelativistic Theory, 
Oxford, 1991.  
Another classic, another text that's much easier to get through with some 

E. Abers, Quantum Mechanics, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.
This book just came out (violating causality, judging from the publication date),
but it looks promising.  

Math References

C. Bender, S. Orszag, Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and 
Engineers, Springer, 1999.  
This is a great book with all kinds of useful approximation methods for 
differential equations, series, integrals, and so on.

I. Gradshteyn, I. Ryzhik, A. Jeffrey, D. Zwillinger, Table of Integrals, Series 
and Products, Academic Press, 2000.  
(Note there's now a CD version available.)

M. Abramowitz, I. Stegun, Handbook of Mathematical Functions, Dover, 1974.

These last two references, Gradshteyn and Ryszhik in particular, represent 
monumental efforts at compiling useful information about integrals and special 
functions, and probably sit on the bookshelves of every working physicist 
(or at least every physicist over 35).  Symbolic programs such as Macsyma, 
Maple and Mathematica are beginning to make these obsolete for some 
purposes.  We have Mathematica available on most of our machines, Maple 
is on the public university computer Titan, and Macsyma is now freely 
available as Maxima.

W.-K. Tung, Group Theory in Physics, World Scientific, 1985.  
This is my favorite group theory text.  We won't do much explicit group theory
in our course, but this is a great place to understand everything we're doing
with angular momentum at a deeper level.  The discussion of the Lorentz
group and its representations is excellent background for particle physics
and relativistic field theory.  Also, Prof. Tung is a friend and close
collaborator of several members of the department, and a former Asst. Prof.
here (Michael Aivazis) wrote a problem book to accompany this text.

Clebsch-Gordon coefficients, from the Particle Data Book.  The information 
from the book, which is an enormously useful compendium of experimental data 
and theoretical summaries, is available at the Particle Data Group's website.  

More Elementary References

R. Feynman, R. Leighton, M. Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics,  
Addison-Wesley, 1963.  
He introduces quantum mechanics via spin systems, which differs from the
usual approach of starting with the Schrödinger equation.  It might be
similar to the way the first half of this course has been taught in the

D. Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Prentice Hall, 1995.
A readable intro which some profs use for the undergrad intro course here.
Some topics are treated a bit compactly, but in general it's clear, careful,
and at just the right level; for example, it has the best discussion of
the energy-time uncertainty relation that I've seen.

B. Bransden, C. Joachain, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2000.
A relatively new text that is, according to one of our faculty, among
the best of undergrad texts.

R. Liboff, Quantum Mechanics, 4th ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2003.
This has also been used here.  A different faculty member thinks this might be 
the best one.

R. Robinett, Quantum Mechanics, Oxford, 1997.
This has gotten excellent reviews for the connection it maintains between
formalism and the experimental results that motivated it.

S. Gasiorowicz, Quantum Physics, 3rd ed, Wiley, 2003.
Another text that has been used in our undergrad courses.  I've heard generally
mixed reviews.

Classical Mechanics References

H. Goldstein, C. Poole, and J. Safko, Classical Mechanics, Addison Wesley, 2002.
This is the standard graduate text.

A. Fetter and D. Walecka, Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua,
McGraw-Hill, 1980.
I'll refer to this text for some of the review of classical mechanics.  The coverage
is probably about the same as Goldstein, but I'm more familiar with this one.

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