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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction
Prof. Susskind takes a highly abstract approach to the subject in this book. He discusses it with almost no reference to the real experiments that provided the basis for the bizarre mathematics of QM. Instead, he simply outlines the mathematics with reference to some idealised 'experiments' that appear to bear no relation to anything in common experience.

The...
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Anthony J. Bentley

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a very narrow readership
I saw this book on the shelves in my local booksellers which are usually reserved for books which are new, interesting and likely to sell a lot of copies. They were right on two out of them, but they were in cloud cuckoo land on the ‘lot of copies’ part (unless we get a ‘Brief History of Time effect’ where lots buy it and don’t read it). This...
Published 5 months ago by Brian Clegg


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction, 29 Mar 2014
This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
Prof. Susskind takes a highly abstract approach to the subject in this book. He discusses it with almost no reference to the real experiments that provided the basis for the bizarre mathematics of QM. Instead, he simply outlines the mathematics with reference to some idealised 'experiments' that appear to bear no relation to anything in common experience.

The reader has to either accept the statements he makes at face value, or go looking for an explanation in a more formal text.
A short chapter or even a foreword on the Stern-Gerlach experiment would have helped immensely.

Having said that, the book is a masterful summary of the current state of knowledge and an entertaining read. If you would like to understand entanglement but are afraid to ask, this is the book for you.
He covers the subject matter fully and accurately, with all the proper mathematics but he makes certain to provide adequate explanations of any subtle mathematical ideas that he might need to use.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a very narrow readership, 14 April 2014
By 
Brian Clegg "Brian Clegg" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
I saw this book on the shelves in my local booksellers which are usually reserved for books which are new, interesting and likely to sell a lot of copies. They were right on two out of them, but they were in cloud cuckoo land on the ‘lot of copies’ part (unless we get a ‘Brief History of Time effect’ where lots buy it and don’t read it). This is a new and interesting book, and for the niche it is aimed at it is brilliant – but that is a narrow niche indeed.

Usually there are two kinds of science books. Popular science explains what the discoveries and theories of science, with historical perspective, so that the general reader can get a feel for them – but reading a popular science book on, say, quantum mechanics would not leave you able to solve quantum mechanics problems.

Textbooks, on the other hand, teach the actual science itself, usually with a lot more maths, so that you can indeed do the workings, but they don’t give you any context, and they are inaccessible (and, frankly, highly boring) to most readers.

This book highlights a tiny crack in between the two, a niche where it can do a very interesting job of leading the reader into the actual science, but in a more hand-held and less boring way than a textbook. Because it takes this approach it hasn’t got the context or readability of a popular science book – but it’s far more readable than a textbook. Similarly, it doesn’t have quite enough detail to really ‘do’ the physics – but it takes you well on the way there, so that it would only take a little textbook work to get on top of it.]

The only thing I’d criticise (apart from the narrowness of that niche) is the really irritating attempts at folksy fictional openings to the sections. They don’t work. Stay with what you’re trying to do, guys, don’t try to be entertainers.

For most popular science readers this book simply won’t work. It makes the infamously ‘I started it but couldn’t finish it’ Brief History of Time look highly simplistic and non-mathematical. And for serious physicists, it’s still too limited – though it takes what is in some ways a better approach, giving more emphasis early on to entanglement, than the way quantum physics is traditionally taught. Either for those about to start a university physics course who want some preparation, or for someone who finds popular science explanations too summary and is prepared to take on some quite serious maths (A level maths required as a minimum, I would say) it’s a fascinating addition to the library. For the rest of us, probably best to leave it where it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for aspiring and amateur physicists alike!, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
These series of books are by far my favourite science books. Ever. Having read the classical mechanics book, I was extremely excited when this was released. I would warn though that it is not for the light-hearted. The Theoretical Minimum books are filled completely with equations and if your mathematics isn't up to scratch you wont get past the second lecture.
Having said this, if you wan't to start understanding science; real science that is, not like the science of pop science books where you're told a few vague ideas and some rough history. Rather, this book takes you into the mathematical framework of quantum mechanics and allows you to do the calculations and discover the true beauty of the equations.
Before reading this book my background in mathematics and physics were as follows: GCSE and AS level maths and physics, had read the first book. I don't think you will struggle to read this provided that you're willing to work fairly hard at understanding what's going on and that you have a working knowledge of calculus and a basic knowledge of matrix operations and knowledge of complex numbers.
The book covers a variety of topics and by the end of it you will understand the basics of the Schrödinger equation, general uncertainty, the Heisenberg uncertainty principal, using quantum mechanics to calculate probabilities of certain outcomes and also quantum entanglement and why it's such a strange phenomena. These ideas are not made readily available, you will have to do a fair bit of work in understanding in order to fully appreciate these ideas.
It took me about 3 months to read and understand this book and I feel that I have a basic grasp on some fundamental ideas in quantum mechanics. If you have no serious understanding of the maths of physics or have no interest in learning it then this book is not for you. If you do not want to have to think about the ideas presented in order to grasp their importance then this book is also not for you. However if you want an invitation into the world of real quantum mechanical theory then this is the book for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Mechanics made friendly !!!, 19 April 2014
By 
André Gargoura "André Gargoura" (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
Friendly and yet thorough and rigorous i.e. a pure challenge.

It's advisable to study the book in parallel to the video series (same title), as both are nicely interconnected.

With one exception though : the harmonic oscillator is very well treated in the book but is not part of that video series.

In fact, you'll find it in Susskind's other video series "Modern Physics : Quantum Mechanics".

An interesting route in Susskind's on-line courses would be :

1. Classical Mechanics
2. Quantum Mechanics
3. Special Relativity
4 General Relativity
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4.0 out of 5 stars It'll stay on my shelf for another read!, 24 Jun 2014
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M. Lee "ML" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
It's a good accompaniment to the Stanford YouTube series that Lenny Susskind presents and a good read for undergrads who want a different look at the topics at hand. But if you pick this up as an introduction text or light read, prepare to be thoroughly staggered by the contents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars QM, 26 April 2014
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Fascinating exposition of Quantum Mechanics. Detailed coverage of spin, Schrodinger Equation, Generalised Uncertainty Principal. The book explains the use of Dirac Notation in QM.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 11 April 2014
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rosy44 (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
This book does just what it sets out to do. It goes for understanding (in as much as one can with quantum mechanics) rather than a lot of mathematical rigour. The topics are described in an easy to read style and most don't need a lot of other, supportive, study. The text is quite large and well spaced allowing room for the reader to insert margin notes. If your classical mechanics knowledge is a bit rusty I would recommend you go through the previous book first to which there are references in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting approach, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
first chapter on spins not too good but further reading well good understandable. have to read it over and over and am glad to possess the book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Hardcover)
A very interesting presentation of a series of lectures on the mathematical treatment of QM.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars kindle version text missing, 12 July 2014
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Quantum theory is difficult enough on its own - but with half of the mathematical symbols missing from the kindle version of the book it's nigh impossible! Not good Amazon
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Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum
Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind (Hardcover - 25 Feb 2014)
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