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Introduction to Quantum Mechanics [Hardcover]

David J. Griffiths

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Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 4.5 out of 5 stars (14)
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Book Description

2 Aug 1994 0131244051 978-0131244054 1

For one/two-semester, junior/senior-level courses in Quantum Mechanics.

Written by the author of the best-selling E & M text, this text is designed to teach students how to DO quantum mechanics. Part I covers the basic theory; Part II develops approximation schemes and real-world applications.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect companion to more difficult texts 20 Dec 2000
By Fabrice P. Laussy - Published on
This introductory text by Griffiths has two major advantages: first it is exceedingly interesting to read, at such an extent one could believe the material is easy. Exercises are challenging enough to show it is just an impression. Second, the text covers a rather big amount of the (non-relativistic) theory, in a concision which is exemplar. It is a short text, which travels in the corners of the field: quantum statistics, solid state physics, perturbation theories, scattering... Of course the counterpart is those topics aren't dealt with at depth. This is a book to see things, before to work on them. For all those reasons, it is a very, very bad reference, but it is not its purpose. For example, the bra and ket formalism is introduced a bit lately, and its use is not stressed. The functional notation for what is currently referred to as |n, l, m> conceals the power of Dirac notations. Tensor product of Hilbert space are completely omitted, thus obscuring the (short but important) section on angular momenta, especially their addition. However, following the book's spirit, you have an opportunity to see Clebsch-Gordan coefficients at work, with their pretty cascading tables.
The book is accessible without serious prerequisites, not even in electromagnetism, you just need to know the basis of calculus. Therefore it is the text to get if as a beginner you want to get acquainted with this fundamental piece of physics, along with learning your first physical theories (mechanics or electromagnetism). For others, it is useless to they who ever know pretty much of the theory, even as a review. To students who encounter this strange world for the first time, but with a fierce amount of classical knowledge on their back, I recommend it either as a companion to a more demanding detailed text--Shankar seeming the perfect pick--or as the only text if tremendous amount of personal work is to be furnished to fill in and explore by oneself what is missing. I wouldn't rely too much on it however.
52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poorly organized introduction 1 Feb 2004
By S. D Webb - Published on
I had previously written a review of this text based upon my experiences with it first semester, dealing mostly with chapters 1-4. Upon further reading of the book and comparison to various other texts (the Baym, Sakurai and Shankar, specifically), I have decided that I need to rewrite my review.
First off, the good side: If you're interested in a wave mechanics approach to learning quantum mechanics, this book isn't horrible. You certainly learn a lot about solving differential equations, although you are never asked to solve any yourself. Also, the problems for the students to work range from the insanely trivial to the intriguingly difficult. Now for the bad part...
Well, the problem with those worked problems is that there is a lot of important stuff in the problems, and Griffiths assumes you have worked every single problem. This wouldn't be an issue, except most of the chapters have over 50 problems, and the odds that you did the right problem you need when he references that problem three chapters later is pretty slim.
Also, he does not introduce you to the Dirac notation or the linear algebra approach to quantum mechanics until the third chapter, after which he promptly discards that powerful tool in favor of the way he had been going, which is with wave mechanics. So he deprives the readers of knowledge of a remarkably useful language to discuss quantum mechanics.
He begins with the Schrodinger equation, without any motivation at all, and proceeds from there. He could start out talking about two level systems, the collapse of the state vector, eigenvalue measurements and all that long before getting into infinite-dimensional systems, but he seems to think that solving a differential equation without explaining what the Schrodinger equation actually is (the Hamiltonian operator) or giving any idea of its physical significance.
Some problems are absurdly ambiguous to the point that you really wonder what exactly you're supposed to do, and the working of nontrivial examples is few and far between (with exceptions being the hydrogen atom and the raising and lowering operators for the various applications of those).
Because I don't want to conclude being completely negative, I would like to point out that the sections on approximation methods are very good and easy to follow.
I think everyone else put it best when they said that this is quantum mechanics for those with no mathematical inclination, and if you are a physics major with no mathematical inclination, I have to question your choice of study. For those serious about learning quantum mechanics, purchase the Shankar, it's cheaper and much more fulfilling.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine, clearly written introduction 4 May 2000
By henrique fleming - Published on
This is a well-written, beautifully done text for beginners. Though not a brilliant book like Dicke-Wittke (which sparked at every page and, alas, is out-of-print), it brings the message. Besides the more usual topics, I particularly liked the treatment of adiabatic processes and the Berry phase, which is the best I met in textbooks. The exercises are effective, and vary from routine to tough. I've met at least one which slightly strains, in its wording, the laws of electromagnetism. But I liked to teach from it, and, better, the students loved it. I wish I had a text like this when I fought against old Schiff, centuries ago!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jungle worth crossing... but not without a guide. 30 May 2001
By Samit White - Published on
Griffiths treads an unconventional, good-humored path in this book. Instead of starting, as many introductions to quantum mechanics do, with historical interpretations that lead up to the particle-wave equation, he jumps head-first into problems and examples. This text would be very difficult to tackle alone, but under the tutelage of a good instructor (to help with problems that could very well take all day) is well worth the effort. He never goes too deep, and comes closest to the median, that is, he writes at a level understandable to undergraduates. My biggest vice is his lack of physical or experimental examples; they seem to be an addendum to the mathematics. Also, it sticks to the Schrodinger interpretation nearly throughout, which I think is preferable as an intro to QM, but some fancy graduate students might whine (I think one or two problems deals with the Heisenberg/Linear Algebra approach, and some Singlet, Triplet stuff uses matrices, etc. but that's easy). He brings on some fairly traditional problems, so a student who doesn't have a strong math background might want to get another book as a reference. Like the other reviewer said, there are some very algebraically difficult problems that don't really emphasis conceptual understanding, but QM is hard work, so if you wanna get cookin' this is the book for you.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written elementary QM text. 20 Dec 1999
By Rod HUg - Published on
David Griffiths concentrates on the classic and important QM proplems, such as the Schrodinger equation, the finite square well, the delta function potential, the hydrogen atom, spin, etc. He does not touch on QM "side line" issues. Thus the students efforts are most efficient. Griffiths develops each subject in a balanced and easy to understand way. His book could be home studied without assistance from an instructor, which is certainly not true of many QM texts. The exercises are well selected and appropriate, and many of them have implicit or explicit answers provided. Along with QM by Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, I would rate this one of the best choices for the beginning student. While Cohen-Tannoudji is comprehensive and elegant, Griffiths is basic and focused.
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