Top positive review
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A good intro, but it has flaws
on 20 February 2003
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.