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# Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

## (Theoretical Minimum)

by

**From the bestselling author of**

*The Theoretical Minimum*, a DIY introduction to the math and science of quantum physicsFirst he taught you classical mechanics. Now, physicist Leonard Susskind has teamed up with data engineer Art Friedman to present the theory and associated mathematics of the strange world of quantum mechanics.

In this follow-up to

*The Theoretical Minimum*, Su ...more

## Get A Copy

Hardcover, 364 pages

Published
February 25th 2014
by Basic Books
(first published January 1st 2014)

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## Community Reviews

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Start your review of Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Theoretical Minimum #2)

Sep 11, 2014
Manny
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Recommended to Manny by:
Anyone who wants to understand quantum mechanics and knows some math

Shelves:
science

I've finished volume one and now I'm dying to find out what happens next. Talk about a cliffhanger ending!

__________________________________

I must confess that I didn't enjoy the second volume quite as much as the first, but that mainly shows how high the bar was; this is still the best introduction to quantum mechanics I have ever seen, and if you have some mathematical background (linear algebra, calculus) I can't recommend it too highly. It requires some effort to read, but it's definitely wo ...more

__________________________________

I must confess that I didn't enjoy the second volume quite as much as the first, but that mainly shows how high the bar was; this is still the best introduction to quantum mechanics I have ever seen, and if you have some mathematical background (linear algebra, calculus) I can't recommend it too highly. It requires some effort to read, but it's definitely wo ...more

ΔE Δt ≥ ℏ/2: "Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum" by Leonard Susskind, Art Friedman

I was on a train the other week and I was sitting opposite Einstein who asked me if I would mind changing seats because he liked to see where he was going for a half a journey and then he liked to see where he had been for the other half of the journey and I told him I didn't mind changing seats and I asked him if he minded me asking him if he wa ...more

This is a really nice introductory book on Quantum Mechanics - Quantum Mechanics done for real, with some decent detail and good mathematical treatment of some of its most important aspects.

As a list of prerequisites for fully enjoying this book, I would recommend the following:

- read volume 1 (on Classical Mechanics) which is simply fantastic on its own

- basic knowledge of linear algebra, calculus and complex vector (Hilbert) spaces

The author is great at explaining potentially tricky and compl ...more

Oct 12, 2020
Bernardo
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
science,
non-fiction

Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum is the second book in the Theoretical Minimum series. The first book was about classical mechanics, covering both Newtonian and advanced mechanics, and in a way it felt like a preparation for quantum mechanics. Having read this book, I can safely say that quantum mechanics is even weirder than I thought.

The first half of the book moves at a slow speed. In that sense it reminded me of the first book, just introducing the reader to the necessary tools and ...more

The first half of the book moves at a slow speed. In that sense it reminded me of the first book, just introducing the reader to the necessary tools and ...more

We could, of course, use any notation we want; do not laugh at notations; invent them, they are powerful. In fact, mathematics is, to a large extent, invention of better notations.

—Richard Feynman

I’m a bit sad to be finally putting this book down. Now, I can no longer tell friends and coworkers that I’m reading a book about the mathematics of quantum mechanics. Oh well.

I’ve already written a fairly detailed review of the first volume (which can be found here); and since this volume is very s ...more

Apr 26, 2014
Ivan Vuković
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
physics,
informal-but-technical

Susskind's Theoretical Minimum series might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I'm really beginning to love this style (way more than the video lectures, I should add!).

It's not your usual popular science with so much hand waving and analogies it almost feels like patronising, but it's not the usual cold and formal textbook style either.

Susskind manages to explain all the core ideas of the theory in a beautiful and coherent way. Some details must, of course, be omitted, but there's no BS and swe ...more

It's not your usual popular science with so much hand waving and analogies it almost feels like patronising, but it's not the usual cold and formal textbook style either.

Susskind manages to explain all the core ideas of the theory in a beautiful and coherent way. Some details must, of course, be omitted, but there's no BS and swe ...more

and

Quantum Mechanics the Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman

review by Galen Weitkamp

Perhaps it’s unfair to compare these two works given the differences in the intent of their authors. George Musser is fascinated by what some identify as the nonlocal nature of the measurement process in quantum theory. It seems to this reader that his intent is not only to inform but to convince the reader of its “reality” and the consequences that ...more

Oct 09, 2017
Alexandra
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
unfinished,
non-fiction

I am putting this book on hold for now. I started reading it during a long voyage and it was very interesting and invigorating, like a good workout for the brain. But as soon as I got back to work, I lost the stamina necessary to keep up with the book.

It is hard. The math is real and you have to learn a whole new vocabulary to follow the explanations.

But even if I read only a half of this, I got what I wanted originally. My big question to quantum mechanics was something like "Don't they see ho ...more

It is hard. The math is real and you have to learn a whole new vocabulary to follow the explanations.

But even if I read only a half of this, I got what I wanted originally. My big question to quantum mechanics was something like "Don't they see ho ...more

As someone with a broader mathematical background who learned some QM before, I was mostly interested in the pedagogical angle the book would take. Most physics books introduce QM from a historical point of view, reviewing the problems lead ...more

*The Theoretical Minimum*, which is a prerequisite to reading this book.

I say here that I've "read" this book, but so far I've only skimmed to get the lay of the land. Because this is not a bullshit popularized treatment of quantum mechanics, it takes actual work and concentration to make your way through it and really understand the mathematics. So this is going to be my background reading for some time to come. ...more

*even cooler*and

*even more elegant*, so that must be true too. You see?

Okay Len, nice try. But I wasn't born yesterday.

...more

This book leaves some things to the reader, for instance, you might have to prove some sort of mathematical theor ...more

The focus is on finite dimensional systems (i.e., quantum information) initially. This is a similar approach, if I recall correctly, that Isham takes in his

*Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations*.

Susskind nicely avoids the problematic terminology physicists have with dimensions. The free particle in one ...more

The book starts from a discussion of electron spins, and develops quantum mechanics to explain how spin changes on measurements or if placed in a magnetic field. The Schroedinger equation is derived and explained, and then applied to harmonic oscillators in general.

This book is engaging, we ...more

Jun 13, 2020
Revert
marked it as did-not-finish

DNF at page 64. I tried I really did. My brain just isn’t cut out for a book that is clearly written for people much smarter than me.

If anything, I’m now convinced that Physics isn’t the A Level subject for me. I’ll probably choose History instead.

If anything, I’m now convinced that Physics isn’t the A Level subject for me. I’ll probably choose History instead.

I think it approches teching QM entirely the wrong way.

- They start from math and show that it can be used to describe QM. This seems backwards to me. We should learn about quantum phenomena, the data, and then stumble on some math than can help us describe that data.

Also, I think their interpretation of QM doesn't make any sense.

- Waves of probability, spin just 'is', entanglement and spooky action at a distnace, observables are treated differently, ... I mean come on.

Bu ...more

Usually there are two kinds of science ...more

I get a feeling that a lot of introductory physics courses teach QM in the order that it was d ...more

*The Theoretical Minimum*, which dealt with classical physics, this book explains the basics of quantum theory in a simple (but not oversimplified) way beginning with spin states and working through the Schrödinger equation, combinations of states, entanglement, and the uncertainty principle. The first half of the book introduces the mathematics of complex vector spaces in a very understandable way (I had never studied linear algebra at all, even with real vectors, and I had no troub ...more

This is really a great introduction to fundamental Quantum Mechanics, which might allow you to go deeper in the field and sub-fields. However, it is just the current state of how QM is described ...more

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Leonard Susskind is the Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University. His research interests include string theory, quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics and quantum cosmology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an associate member of the faculty of Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Phys
...more

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