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on 25 January 2000
I've given this book a 4 star rating because I used it heavily for exam revision and successfully learned the required material from it. Bear in mind though, that the book was designed for my course and was given by the author. There are two problems I have with the book. One is the amount of typographical errors in equations. This is bad, considering the book is in its 3rd revision and is meant to have been proof read by collegues. Consequently, I would not recommend using it where you do not have access to lecturers who can check any queries, unless you are a first class student who can confidently discern the errors. Secondly, Dr Rae swaps notation for angular momentum in a way that could be confusing. To put it as simply as I can, people reading the book who have some previous knowledge of the J=L+S relationship, may be confused when he uses L as TOTAL angular momentum in the earlier parts of the book, where one does not "officially" know about intrinsic spin and spin-orbit coupling etc. This leaves the reader wondering if another glaring error has been made. A consistent approach with J being used early would be best, with a note at the beginning giving a brief explanation and refering the reader to the more detailed discussion when sufficient groundwork had been completed. Also, Rae is fond of "...and clearly it can be seen that..." statements, which sometimes left me flicking back through the book to find which relationship he was invoking. Overall, this is a good book covering a wide range of undergraduate material at the right level. I think it's best suited to a 3rd year course. For those completely new to QM, it doesn't meet the bible status which I can attribute to "Quantum Physics of Atoms..." by Eisberg and Resnick (Wiley).
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on 28 August 2013
Right from the beginning, this book displays some of the best and worst traits of physics textbooks. Best features - it is VERY compact, to the point of being impenetrable. Complex topics are reduced to a few pages of terse and authoritative explanation. If you are already familiar with Quantum Mechanics then this could be an excellent reference. Worst features - this is a subject that can only be understood properly through a good understanding of the mathematics, but there is no attempt to introduce the reader gradually, and the first few pages could well put newcomers off for life. Phrases along the lines of 'thus it can be seen that ...' and 'after some rearrangement ...' and 'clearly, it can be seen that ...' occur frequently through the book. If I were to compare this style with the clear and lucid approach to topics in Stroud's 'Engineering Mathematics' series, or Fleisch's 'A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations', or by the very approachable introductions to Quantum Mechanics on the Hyperphysics site, then this book doesn't score well. There's no need to make this fascinating subject quite so unapproachable. It's a book written by a very knowledgeable author, designed to be understood by the already-knowledgeable or by those who are prepared to do some additional reading to get through it. As long as you buy it with that understanding, you won't be disappointed.
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on 18 November 2012
The Quantum mechanics course on my physics degree is based around this book, so I needed it for that. This book is very useful and good at explaining the concepts involved and giving step by step examples of mathematical/physical problems. I recommend this book for anybody doing degree level quantum mechaincs.
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on 19 May 2014
Following the good old english academic tradition... book is short in detail, lacking proper explanations in 'obvious` mathematical derivations, physical deductions, and conclusions, despite the fact that in some cases sentences are repeated to add nothing new! You will find the always loved "it follows then..." "it can easily be shown...".
If this will be your introduction to QM you will need another parallel source otherwise you will be frequently wondering "where did that come from?" "how did he get that"? etc
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on 14 March 2014
Good book for getting to grips with a lot of quantum mechanics and is the go to book for many courses. Covers the topic brilliantly, gets concepts into your head really well and is quite rigorous with mathematics. However it does require alot of prerequisite mathematics. Other books I have read explain different functions and reasoning as they go along. I did not find that this book did that, so it lets its self down. Be ready to come un stuck with some obsolete trig identities you learn't a few years ago.
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on 6 July 2010
As a recent graduate of a physics degree, I regret not getting this book at the start of my course. Quantum Mechanics is a devilish subject to get into, understanding requires a suspension of disbelief and Rae is by far the best at explaining such concepts. I wouldn't say the book makes everything crystal clear first time around, however it'll certainly help you make connections between what are at first difficult concepts; concepts such as energy levels, spin and angular momentum.

The book takes a largely mathematical approach, so it helps to know what vectors and imaginary numbers are first. I did find certain explanations missing entirely, such as nodes on radial distribution graphs. However, these flaws can be considered minor in comparison to the clarity of other QM concepts which previously I struggled with.

You can dip into this book to revise a few key points, or you can read it from start to finish and feel satisfied that you've learnt a lot. Rae is definitely the best in dealing with Quantum Mechanics, an interesting read for the mathematically minded and essential for undergraduate mathematicians and physicists nationwide.
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on 30 June 2007
I own a 3rd edition of this book. Its coverage of introductory QM is excellent and the explanations are clear. What is missing in the latest edition is the set of pithy reviews of other texts that Rae recommends- hence my comment in the title.

The chapter on relativistic equations -Dirac's -lacks perspective and does not take one through the discussion of its explanation of the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum. For this one needs the chapter entitled "relativistic wave equations" in Schiff's text Quantum Mechanics .
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on 13 July 2002
This book is not only fun to read, but contains the latest material on quantum computation, quantum teleportation, and the debate over the concepts of quantum mechanics. The text is clear and sharp. Written for undergraduate students, it can be read by anybody with college math (calculus, etc.). The beauty of quantum mechanics as exposed here will certainly make sure that you will read it nearly cover to cover.
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on 7 April 2005
This is an informative and enjoyable book which does a good job of introducing the reader to the elegance of quantum mechanics. It is concise and digestible with a good development of the topic from fundamental principles upwards. I think that the previous comment about functional analysis somewhat misses the point that this aims to be an introductory text. Infact I would say that it makes a good precursor to this topic and other more advanced ones.
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on 21 September 2014
Great book for learning Quantum Mechanics, I have a paperback edition (five stars for that). I wanted a Kindle edition to read on the run, BUT BEWARE! the kindle edition doesn't work on my Kindle touch or my Kindle Android app, it only works on my PC app!! What good is this!!!
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