Friday, July 11, 2008

Quantum Mechanics for Beginners

(image as posted in Wikipedia)

This is a response to a query a fellow made on BackReaction which I’ve taken the liberty to address here rather then clog up the space as it is in regards to an unrelated matter to the mentioned post. However, in as my interest in the question supersedes what I perceive as the true motivation for the query I offer the following.

Dany asks:

“Please suggest sequence of three books (time ordered) best suitable for the beginner to grasp QM (independent or tutored learning)”

For basic (non relativistic) QM, disregarding the math prerequisites, I would say perhaps the following:

  • (1) The Feynman Lectures on Physics-Volume III (Feynman-Leighton-Sands)
  • (2) Quantum Mechanics and Experience (David Z. Albert)
  • (3) The Undivided Universe (David Bohm and Basil Hiley)

If on the other hand one only wants the whole thing as just the facts and nothing but the facts, you can simply read Bohm’s initial primer on the whole subject - Quantum Theory. However, since just after writing this book Bohm was prompted to come up with a clearer explanation I view this book more from of a historical perspective rather than an explanative one.