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An Introduction to Quantum Physics (MIT Introductory Physics Series) [Paperback]

A.P. French , Edwin F. Taylor
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £51.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Nov 1979 0748740783 978-0748740789 New Ed
Provides comprehensive coverage of all the fundamentals of quantum physics. Full mathematical treatments are given. Uses examples from different areas of physics to demonstrate how theories work in practice. Text derived from lectures delivered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; New Ed edition (30 Nov 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0748740783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748740789
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
We know that classical physics, as represented by Newtonian mechanics and Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism, works marvelously well for the analysis of the behavior of macroscopic objects in terms of empirically determined laws of force. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good intro, but it has flaws 20 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As has been pointed out in an earlier review, this is a basic and unfussy approach with minimal mathematical exposition. It is also readable, with no highfalutin language. Good basic stuff, in other words.
However, and it's a pretty big however, there are mistakes in it. Unfortunately, a lot of these are not particularly easy to spot. There are typos in the text (e.g. "efforts" instead of "effects", which could confuse) but also there are sometimes mistakes in some of the equations (omitting the "i" operator in an exponential makes all the difference!). In one case at least, they did the calculation wrong and, noticing the difference, said something like "well it's not a perfect prediction but it's pretty close" when in fact if they *had* done the sums right it would have been pretty damn accurate.
Another point that may well deter modern readers is that the physics tends to focus on the c.g.s. rather than SI system of units, which is possibly due to its background and age. In places the SI equivalents are given, but it takes some diligence to go through it religiously converting.
Having said that, converting to SI is an educational exercise in itself ...
Another negative point is that some of the photographs have not come out very well, and the details of some potentially highly enlightening effects are sometimes lost.
But for all that, it's very good at helping the poor student get his head round some seriously non-intuitive concepts, and the exercises (a lot of which give some applications to the macroscopic world) certainly serve to consolidate the ground covered. Unfortunately there are no answers given.
Therefore I would recommend this as a background textbook to a taught course in quantum mechanics, but for self-teaching, it may be somewhat limited in usefulness. And for all its faults, it definitely deserves 4 stars for the quality of writing alone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy book for a beginner 12 Feb 2004
By J
Format:Paperback
French and Taylor is a comprehensive guide to all basic aspects of Quantum Mechanics, including the Hydrogen atom and a detailed discussion of angular momentum. There is very little if anything that has been left out if you are an undergraduate studying a Quantum Physics course. However, if you are an undergraduate, you may find this book a little hard going, as it is really designed for people who already understand most aspects of Quantum Mechanics, so I wouldn't recommend this to 1st or 2nd year Physics students. Try Quantum Mechanics by F Madl for a simpler, more easy going, if less thorough approach.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and really focuses on the Physics 7 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback
OK, so this book is old, having been written in the 1970s. For all that, it still does the core things excellently: namely focus on the Physics, the experiments, the theory, AND the people behind the advances.
After going through the antecedents of the classical atomic model, the authors quickly move onto the wave-particle duality. They describe, throughout, groundbreaking experimental work of the likes of Thompson and Davisson & Germer. After setting the foundations, French and Taylor go to the discussion of the one dimensional Schrodinger equation, its physical meaning, and several examples of solutions by means of qualitative plots.
The rest of the book is made up of chapters on Photons and Quantum States, Angular momentum, Atomic Systems, a detailed discussion of the Hydrogen atom and Radiation from atoms.
What I particularly like about this book is that it is grounded in the Physics, with experiment and theory given an equal footing. The authors are gentle with their use of mathematics. The concept of operators is applied to the physical problem. This, despite what to some people would be the book’s "old fashioned” nature, is refreshing. Too often, the authors of modern books on Quantum Physics "pose" with fancy mathematics to try an impress their colleagues or students.
This book is easy to read, there are plenty of worked examples and end of chapter exercises to keep the student busy. I recommend this book thoroughly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and really focuses on the Physics 23 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
OK, so this book is old, having been written in the 1970s. For all that, it still does the core things excellently: namely focus on the Physics, the experiments, the theory, AND the people behind the advances.
After going through the antecedents of the classical atomic model, the authors quickly move onto the wave-particle duality. They describe, throughout, groundbreaking experimental work of the likes of Thompson and Davisson & Germer. After setting the foundations, French and Taylor go to the discussion of the one dimensional Schrodinger equation, its physical meaning, and several examples of solutions by means of qualitative plots.

The rest of the book is made up of chapters on Photons and Quantum States, Angular momentum, Atomic Systems, a detailed discussion of the Hydrogen atom and Radiation from atoms.

What I particularly like about this book is that it is grounded in the Physics, with experiment and theory given an equal footing. The authors are gentle with their use of mathematics. The concept of operators is applied to the physical problem. This, despite what to some people would be the book's "old fashioned" nature, is refreshing. Too often, the authors of modern books on Quantum Physics "pose" with fancy mathematics to try an impress their colleagues or students.

This book is easy to read, there are plenty of worked examples and end of chapter exercises to keep the student busy. I recommend this book thoroughly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and really focuses on the Physics 26 Nov 2002
By "jayjina" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
OK, so this book is old, having been written in the 1970s. For all that, it still does the core things excellently: namely focus on the Physics, the experiments, the theory, AND the people behind the advances.
After going through the antecedents of the classical atomic model, the authors quickly move onto the wave-particle duality. They describe, throughout, groundbreaking experimental work of the likes of Thompson and Davisson & Germer. After setting the foundations, French and Taylor go to the discussion of the one dimensional Schrodinger equation, its physical meaning, and several examples of solutions by means of qualitative plots.
Photons and Quantum States, Angular momentum, Atomic Systems, a detailed discussion of the Hydrogen atom and Radiation from atoms make up the rest of the book.
What I particularly like about this book is that it is grounded in the Physics, with experiment and theory given an equal footing. The authors are gentle with their use of mathematics. The concept of operators is applied to the physical problem. This, despite what to some people would be the book's "old fashioned" nature, is refreshing. Too often, the authors of modern books on Quantum Physics "pose" with fancy mathematics to try to impress their colleagues or students.
This book is easy to read, there are plenty of worked examples and end of chapter exercises to keep the student busy. I recommend this book thoroughly.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Secondary Resource 23 Dec 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book should seriously be used ONLY with another text. A good one (in my opinion) is Griffiths. It goes into great depth (sometimes too much) conceptually and is very weak with the mathematics. Another reviewer said somethings about not giving many applications, and i agree. It gets the idea down, but no more than that. Griffiths along side this is awesome, and if you have time after those two, take a look at Shakars book; its a little harder mathematically, but if you hit those three together, youll prolly have a good idea of what QM is about. Feynman Lectures also help.
Point being: Dont use this book alone, very good otherwise.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than most 21 Dec 2003
By "immoderate" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although I would agree that this is probably the best book to begin your study of quantum mechanics with, there are still serious flaws with the book. I just finished taking a class that used this text and I found that a major problem is that it never actually 'get's to the point.' Instead of telling you how to apply a technique to solving problems, the text simply assumes that you'll be able to figure that out yourself. So much of the notation goes unexplained and important points go unemphasized. I would suggest using this book if you're a first time student of quantum mechanics but supplement it with another book that explains how to do problems (Liboff or Griffiths).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy introduction to Quantum physics 10 Feb 2001
By Muzaffer Muctehitzade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a typical college text book written in intoductory level. Its approac is classical and explains the concepts relatively slow with examples. The mathematical language used is not modern in a sense that does not use operator language with high symbolizm but rather more classical approach. For students that are used to apply more classical Diff.equations or Real anaylsis, it is much easier even though they implicitly do the same with or without operators. If I were to chose only one book to read, I would have to select the book written by Resnick but obviously the more you read the more view points you will have and of course you will have less time to develop your own. In my opinion this is better than Feynmann Vol.3.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introductory book on the subject. 2 Jan 2000
By Paul Dirac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of the clearest and well thought out introductions on quantum physics that I've seen. It is beautifully written with abundant diagrams and examples. The chapter on photons and polarization is an excellent pedagogical approach to understanding state vectors. This will also come in handy later on in a more advanced course when trying to understand the motivations behind the postulates of quantum mechanics.
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