This book first teaches learners how to "do" quantum mechanics, and then provides them with a more insightful discussion of what it "means." Fundamental principles are covered, quantum theory presented, and special techniques developed for attacking realistic problems. The book s two-part coverage organizes topics under basic theory, and assembles an arsenal of approximatiThis book first teaches learners how to "do" quantum mechanics, and then provides them with a more insightful discussion of what it "means." Fundamental principles are covered, quantum theory presented, and special techniques developed for attacking realistic problems. The book s two-part coverage organizes topics under basic theory, and assembles an arsenal of approximation schemes with illustrative applications. For physicists and engineers. "...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 468 pages
Published
March 1st 2004
by Addison-Wesley
(first published 1994)
In my university it was the prescribed textbook. And, to be honest, it failed to make any impact. Although it was good in some aspects, it was insanely bad in many.
Good: 1. It does not require the mastery of advanced mathematics which makes this book suitable for beginners. 2. Its tone is informal and makes it readable.
Insanely bad: 1. Puts out the bra-ket algebra in the beginning but never uses beyond it. 2. He has given most of the necessary derivations as exercises, which makes it unsuitable forIn my university it was the prescribed textbook. And, to be honest, it failed to make any impact. Although it was good in some aspects, it was insanely bad in many.
Good: 1. It does not require the mastery of advanced mathematics which makes this book suitable for beginners. 2. Its tone is informal and makes it readable.
Insanely bad: 1. Puts out the bra-ket algebra in the beginning but never uses beyond it. 2. He has given most of the necessary derivations as exercises, which makes it unsuitable for beginners. 3. Seems very erratic, irrational, and sometimes illogical in its approach. I never found it to be trustworthy.
Though I've read it from cover to cover, I consider it as 'abandoned'! This book seems to be pretty good to many people but I found it otherwise. It never added anything but very little to my understanding. I would rather recommend QUANTUM MECHANICS: THEORY AND APPLICATIONS and Priciples of Quantum Mechanics, if someone wants to learn QM from scratch....more
XandraaWow thanks so much !!!
Oct 05, 2015 05:03AM
Petra XI can spell Quantum Mechanics and that's it. No idea what it is except if it isn't basic arithmetic it's definitely beyond me.
Oct 05, 2015 03:35PM
First, the good: this book doesn't require mastery of "advanced" classical physics and math such as Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, electromagnetism, partial differential equations, linear algebra, or statistics. For example, Griffiths takes his time to explain standard deviations, separation of variables, and phase and group velocity in the beginning. This makes the book very accessible.
The bad: While a step by step calculation makes it easy to follow, one often gets lost in details and mFirst, the good: this book doesn't require mastery of "advanced" classical physics and math such as Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, electromagnetism, partial differential equations, linear algebra, or statistics. For example, Griffiths takes his time to explain standard deviations, separation of variables, and phase and group velocity in the beginning. This makes the book very accessible.
The bad: While a step by step calculation makes it easy to follow, one often gets lost in details and misses the big picture. This is not helped by the fact that the book shies away from the math of QM: linear algebra and the concise Dirac notation, which is introduced but quickly discarded.
The author takes the shut-up-and-calculate approach to the extreme (like how standard freshman physics textbooks present QM). The formalism is not developed logically, and, overall, the book is very weak in formalism. For example, the Schrödinger equation specialized to the position space is given from the get-go with the motivation that it is the quantum equivalence of Newton's equation of motion, which is true, but not really helpful; a child may be familiar with the notion of forces, but not Hamiltonians and complex amplitudes. The many subtleties of postulates are never spelled out. (Compare this to e.g. chapter 4 of Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics (Hardcover))
An important fact that quantum states (and not wave functions) and operators in Hilbert space are geometric objects that do not depend on a particular representation is not emphasized enough; there should be more discussion on manipulation of abstract operators e.g. proving algebraic properties of Pauli operators. Operator exponentials, and unitary and symmetry operations only make a brief appearance as 2 and 3-star end-chapter problems (which, according to the author's rating scheme, are difficult or peripheral problems). The treatment of finite-dimensional systems could be much clearer if armed with these tools.
I used this book for an undergraduate course taught by an excellent professor. (He made up all the problem sets. So I can't judge the quality of problems in Griffiths.) And I had learned Dirac notation by myself beforehand (from Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics). Otherwise, I think that my experience would have been disastrous. I can recommend it to an absolute beginner, but with the caveat that this cannot be your last QM book if you want to understand QM. Griffiths prepares you in wave mechanics for e.g. spectroscopy and scattering calculations, but for the foundations of QM, look elsewhere. (A very nice second book explicitly aiming to clear up the conceptual understanding of those who just finish this kind of "wave mechanics" course is Isham's Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations.)
I took the class using this book by Griffiths in 2008-9, when I didn't even know Goodreads existed. :)
I'm now doing research in quantumYou're welcome!
I took the class using this book by Griffiths in 2008-9, when I didn't even know Goodreads existed. :)
I'm now doing research in quantum information mostly on classical simulations. By that I mean studying subsets of quantum theory that give you less computational power than universal quantum computing. I think of it as providing the age-old problem of delineating the boundary between the classical and the quantum world with a fresh new look. Especially they should give us a clue of exactly what fundamentally quantum property enables the apparent quantum speedup that people are excited about.
I used this textbook when I was taking quantum mechanics classes years ago, and it is the best textbook I have ever read. This book differs from most other quantum mechanics textbooks in that it ignores the historical development of quantum mechanics, and jumps straight into the mathematical formalism (the reader is faced with the time-dependent Schrodinger equation on the very first page!). In the first five chapters of the book, Griffiths explains the basic concepts of quantum mechanics. ChaptI used this textbook when I was taking quantum mechanics classes years ago, and it is the best textbook I have ever read. This book differs from most other quantum mechanics textbooks in that it ignores the historical development of quantum mechanics, and jumps straight into the mathematical formalism (the reader is faced with the time-dependent Schrodinger equation on the very first page!). In the first five chapters of the book, Griffiths explains the basic concepts of quantum mechanics. Chapter 2 was particularly interesting to me because it explains how to use the time-independent Schrodinger equation (in one dimension) for various potentials - e.g. "infinite square well" and "harmonic oscillator" (introducing ladder operators which are used in quantum field theory). The treatment of quantum tunnelling (using the Delta-function potential) is beautiful. Chapters 4 and 5 apply the Schrodinger equation to three dimensions and in spherical coordinates, and then introduces the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, spin, two-particle systems, and quantum statistical mechanics.
The second part of the book (chapters 6 to 12) deals with the applications of quantum mechanics. I particularly loved the sections on perturbation theory (time dependent and time independent), and the Variational Principle.
Although there is a lot of mathematics in this book (quantum mechanics is a mathematical subject), Griffiths does not give complete derivations for everything. For example: he simply presents the Laplacian in spherical coordinates and refers the reader to (Boas 1983) for a complete derivation. Similarly, Griffiths simply introduces, without explanation, the associated Legendre polynomial when deriving the solution to the angular equation in chapter 4.1. But I didn't find this to be a problem; quantum mechanics is complicated enough without the burden of having to derive every detail.
However, to get the most out of this book, it is essential that the reader works through as many problems as possible (a solutions manual is freely available on the internet). You might think that you have understood a particular concept but, without consolidation through practice in problem-solving, this understanding can slip away. Working through the problems requires a lot of work and time, and this is the only way to learn difficult concepts.
I still use this textbook as a reference in my professional life.
In summary: an excellent book that requires a lot of work.
According to the title the book is intended to be an introduction to quantum mechanics, but in fact it introduces the reader to wave mechanics. This is the story with many other introductory books on the subject, and as an introduction to wave mechanics this book is not that bad, although not excellent.
But wave mechanics is not the whole story: the wave function formalism is not the most fundamental one and besides it is not general. There are a lot of quantum systems the state of which can notAccording to the title the book is intended to be an introduction to quantum mechanics, but in fact it introduces the reader to wave mechanics. This is the story with many other introductory books on the subject, and as an introduction to wave mechanics this book is not that bad, although not excellent.
But wave mechanics is not the whole story: the wave function formalism is not the most fundamental one and besides it is not general. There are a lot of quantum systems the state of which can not be described by any kind of function. The educational tradition is that usually students are introduced to wave mechanics first, and then, if necessary, to more general and fundamental state vector formalism of quantum mechanics.
From my experience I even doubt that introducing quantum mechanics in such a way, i.e. in form of wave mechanics, is the best way to teach the subject, but in case if someone wants to continue his way into quantum mechanics after this or any other introductory book on wave mechanics, I could recommend Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations by C. J. Isham....more
Quantum Mechanics has a reputation for being one of the most esoteric topics in all of Physics. This reputation is largely well deserved, and it has it source in two aspects of Quantum Mechanics that make it particularly hard to understand. Conceptually, Quantum Mechanics puts to test some of our most deeply engrained intuitions about the Physical world. Such notions as the reality of the world apart from our attempts to observe it, causality of events, ability to measure all of relevant quantitQuantum Mechanics has a reputation for being one of the most esoteric topics in all of Physics. This reputation is largely well deserved, and it has it source in two aspects of Quantum Mechanics that make it particularly hard to understand. Conceptually, Quantum Mechanics puts to test some of our most deeply engrained intuitions about the Physical world. Such notions as the reality of the world apart from our attempts to observe it, causality of events, ability to measure all of relevant quantities at the same time, and localization of physical object are all put to the extreme test. On the other hand the mathematical machinery and sophistication that is required for understanding even some of the simplest quantum mechanical systems is rather daunting. Quantum Mechanics is usually one of the last undergraduate classes that Physics majors take, usually in their junior or senior year, after they have acquired a certain level of mathematical maturity and sophistication. There is a school of thought that posits that the conceptual subtlety of Quantum Mechanics can only be appreciated once the mathematical background is fully mastered. I happen to subscribe to that school of thought, and in my opinion Griffiths' textbook is the surest and the most straightforward path to acquiring the requisite knowledge and mathematical skills for the fullest understanding of Quantum Mechanics. This should definitely not be the first exposure that one gets of the Quantum Mechanics, but those students who are already familiar with some basic problems and results can benefit greatly from this textbook. In fact, in my opinion this is the best overall science textbook. The writing is clear and to the point, chapters and sections are self-contained and build on previous material in the book, there are plenty of worked-out examples, and the problems at the ends of the sections and chapters are designed to put the concepts and the material to its proper use. All of the problems are well-formulated, and there is hardly any ambiguous wording anywhere. Some of the problems are extremely difficult, and can take many, many hours to work out. Those should be attempted only by students who feel very comfortable with long calculus calculations.
When I was an undergraduate this textbook was assigned as an optional/supplementary reading material. Most of us ended up using it more than the official textbook for the class or the professor's notes. I also relied a lot on this textbook for the concise and clear explanation of certain points when I was taking a graduate level Quantum Mechanics. Now that I am actually teaching this course I have used it as the primary textbook for my class and have been extremely satisfied with the decision.
No textbook, of course, is perfect and there are a few things that I would have liked changed about this one as well. It would be useful to have a list of important equations at the end of each chapter, with the explanation of what they are used for. Even though I appreciate its abstract and mathematical approach, many students would benefit from having more of real-world problems and explanations early on. It takes almost all of the semester to get to the first physical system that has any real-world relevance. But other than these problems, I think this is a truly remarkable and great textbook, and it's likely to remain the paragon of good Physics textbooks for at least a few more decades....more
Very much overrated !! As you go further the book becomes worse. I hope it was well-written like the Electrodynamics book written by the same author..
Not elaborate enough, no much text. Many important points are left as problems to be solved. In other texts they provide sections explaining these ideas.
The physical sense in the book is minor and it's lost between the lines of algebra and calculus.
One of the books that made me suffer during my studies.
Self studying. Expect to be done by april. Accordingly, i will either recommend or not recommend this book for ambitious physicists.
Comments on structure so far:
1) the harmonic oscillator solution and the hydrogen atom were very informative 2) the angular momentum was treated in a horrendous fashion 3) the formalities of qm were introduced then quickly discarded 4) had to be supplemented by mit.ocw.edu many times (i referred dr. Allan Adam's superb lectures) 5) transition from orbital angular momenSelf studying. Expect to be done by april. Accordingly, i will either recommend or not recommend this book for ambitious physicists.
Comments on structure so far:
1) the harmonic oscillator solution and the hydrogen atom were very informative 2) the angular momentum was treated in a horrendous fashion 3) the formalities of qm were introduced then quickly discarded 4) had to be supplemented by mit.ocw.edu many times (i referred dr. Allan Adam's superb lectures) 5) transition from orbital angular momentum to spin was horrible
Comments on philosophy of book:
1) promotes active learning by incorporating a bit of the subject in the questions 2) questions may not be enough to develop a concrete understanding of the topic
Final impression:
This book is great for a first course on quantum mechanics, even though you will have to supplement it with video lectures, and other notes many times. This book is just the beginning. ...more
This book was our set book for Quantum mechanics. Although the descriptions were good and the calculations were admittedly useful the main point against it was that a lot of the topic was relegated to the questions. But you were left entirely on your own at this point as there were no solutions to the questions (these were supplied in a separate book for academic staff only). With the result that if you couldn't answer the question you were left with a gaping hole in your knowledge and probablyThis book was our set book for Quantum mechanics. Although the descriptions were good and the calculations were admittedly useful the main point against it was that a lot of the topic was relegated to the questions. But you were left entirely on your own at this point as there were no solutions to the questions (these were supplied in a separate book for academic staff only). With the result that if you couldn't answer the question you were left with a gaping hole in your knowledge and probably couldn't progress any further unless you had a fully supporting lecturer who had a lot of time for their students.
In the end I had to forget this book and look elsewhere. I tried many books with little luck until it was virtually too late, when I found the book by Zettili (ISBN 0471489441) - a brilliant book that should have been the set text. ...more
Good introduction to Quantum mechanics. Not a huge focus on necesary statistical concepts. And deals almost entirely with the diferential form of the schrodinger equation, without really getting into Dirac notation.
Extraordinary simple and intuitive way of presenting complicated underlays of quantum mechanics. First two chapters brilliantly reveal what the QM is all about, meaning of the wave function and what to do with Schrodinger equation. Later, it becomes more mathematical, but diligent student will have no trouble with it. Through numerous example and problems, one encounters many fundamental phenomena of QM: simple hydrogen atom model, configuration of atoms, structure of solids, bose einstein condeExtraordinary simple and intuitive way of presenting complicated underlays of quantum mechanics. First two chapters brilliantly reveal what the QM is all about, meaning of the wave function and what to do with Schrodinger equation. Later, it becomes more mathematical, but diligent student will have no trouble with it. Through numerous example and problems, one encounters many fundamental phenomena of QM: simple hydrogen atom model, configuration of atoms, structure of solids, bose einstein condensate, lasers and all the way up to dwarf and neutron stars. ...more
This book has a very high average rating. Perhaps my disagreement comes from my non-traditional background in Quantum Mechanics, where I was first exposed to the formal aspects of the theory in the Spanish school system. At any rate, I found the theoretical elaborations highly schematic, and lacking even a nod towards rigor. Sure Griffiths has an approachable, even amusing voice, but that doesn't excuse for me the failure to really link the formal theory and its physical meaning. This book couldThis book has a very high average rating. Perhaps my disagreement comes from my non-traditional background in Quantum Mechanics, where I was first exposed to the formal aspects of the theory in the Spanish school system. At any rate, I found the theoretical elaborations highly schematic, and lacking even a nod towards rigor. Sure Griffiths has an approachable, even amusing voice, but that doesn't excuse for me the failure to really link the formal theory and its physical meaning. This book could have, and should have, been twice as long....more
This book is not as good as many say. While well written and readable, there simply isn't enough hard explanation to really understand quantum mechanics without outside help. The problems aren't particularly helpful either. I suppose it is exactly what it says, an introduction. If you want to do quantum mechanics you will need other book. Try Liboff for a similar level but more explanation. It is many times the size, so that gives an idea of how much more information it contains.
This is a great introduction to quantum mechanics. Griffiths starts with the time-dependent Schrodinger equation (rather then the time-independent), and then proceeds to derive the time-independent, a method I prefer. All the basics are covered: 2D and 3D systems (harmonic oscillators, infinite and finite potential wells, etc), and of course the hydrogen atom, all in Griffith's engaging, conversational approach. And the length is just right, too! Highly recommended.
Quantum mechanics is a subject you have to learn again and again before you really get it - and even then, mysteries linger. It's conceptually challenging right from the start, and I can't think of a more accessible text than Griffiths. I must say it's pretty quirky for a physics textbook and it is the only one I have read for fun.
Aside: I met the author while touring colleges back in 2006. Needless to say, he's a brilliant lecturer with a great sense of humor.
Griffiths' wonderfully intuitive writing style is in full form here, but not quite as elegant as in his E/M book. This is a very nice introduction to the topic, but it's so very very incomplete. Many interesting and, dare I say essential, things are left as problems or only mentioned in passing. Fortunately there are many examples, unlike Bransden, which makes this way more fun to read. Very accessible, a decent 1st book if your lecturer makes up for the stuff he misses.
Explains things in a very "friendly" way which is good because quantum mechanics can be terrifying. Some further hints on how to solve the problems given would have helped, but in general this book is pretty good for what it is.
It taught me quite a lot but even after passing the university course I read this book for, I still feel like I know nothing, which is probably why this book is merely an "introduction".
a fine survey of quantum mechanical problems with close to the perfect ratio of words to equations. also, griffiths is a funny-guy, and many jokes can be found throughout this undergraduate textbook, constantly in a superposition of clever-or-not-clever. controversial axioms (is the momentum operator really that self-evident?) exist, but the humor-value of dirac delta functions compensates for any lack of rigor.
I normally wouldn't bother rating a textbook. but Griffiths intro textbooks on Quantum Mechanics and E&M are so helpful and clear, I would recommend them to anyone with a math background who wants to learn about these subjects. Also, if you are taking an undergrad course in one of these subjects and haven't been assigned the Griffiths text, go out and buy it anyway! Also, question the competence of your professor.
I really like this book for the basics, from wave mechanics to time independent perturbation theory. However, the more complicated topics toward the end aren't treated as well. Additionally, Dirac notation seems to take a bit of a backseat to the more introductory wave mechanics notation which can do the students planning to attend grad school a slight disservice when they have to tackle Sakurai.
After reading the first two chapters, it is apparent that this book is a far cry from the electrodynamics classic. It gets the job done, but skips even MORE critical math steps, gives disjointed and irrelevant examples and takes a high-handed approach to teaching quantum.
Personally, I think there are better Quantum books out there.
This is easily the best QM text out there. Griffith keeps it simple and elegant and he has an incredibly helpful rubric. He sort of holds your hand through the proofs and sometimes spends entire chapters on one equation, but it's always a clear train of thought.
To recapitulate, use this book to learn quantum mechanics!
TomOh, the Kitty book. Is it worthwhile obtaining even if I'm out of the loop presently with high-level mathematics? I've seen that book many times beforOh, the Kitty book. Is it worthwhile obtaining even if I'm out of the loop presently with high-level mathematics? I've seen that book many times before, but never had the courage to sit down and follow it through....more
Jan 16, 2008 05:54PM
dead letter officeyou'll need to be comfortable with undergraduate-level linear algebra and calculus to really understand it.
Apr 11, 2008 04:37PM
This book is so incredibly easy to read it's hard to believe it's a full-fledged quantum mechanics textbook with equations and everything. A lot of people whine about this book which essentially boils down to technical nitpicking. It's the most accessible way to really do Q.M. out there.
Oct 05, 2015 05:03AM
Oct 05, 2015 03:35PM