4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Masterful, comprehensive presentation of quantum mechanics,
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This review is from: Quantum Mechanics 2 Volumes (Paperback)I can't understand the complaint that the book doesn't begin with Dirac notation. Many texts don't follow this procedure, and Dirac notation wasn't even introduced until 1930 (at which point quantum mechanics had been in the air for more than two decades). I personally agree with Messiah's approach: first introduce the foundational concepts, and consolidate them later on with the full-blown formalism.
This isn't a book for undergraduates. I think it will mainly appeal to those such as myself, who already know quite a bit about quantum mechanics and are trying to gain a mastery of the subject. Not all in one go, of course: this book looks like it requires a good few years of off-and-on reading to adequately digest. It also functions as a superb reference text. Almost everything you'll ever want to know about quantum mechanics is contained in these pages (with a few bothersome absences, e.g. Feynman path integrals).
The level of detail here is very high. (For instance, angular momentum isn't given a substantial discussion until the beginning of the second volume.) Many of the problems are intriguing, but don't expect the book to provide any solutions or hints -- because it doesn't. Of special interest is the last part of the second volume, which discusses the Dirac equation in considerable depth, and provides the equivalent of an introductory course on relativistic quantum mechanics. The final chapter, devoted to radiation theory, is extremely useful, providing a bridge to quantum field theory, and showing how to solve a bunch of physically interesting problems in radiation theory without having to invoke the usual quantum electrodynamics.