Favorite books for Quantum Mechanics self-study and some others

A Listmania! list by gengogakusha "gengogakusha" (Tarrytown, NY USA)
The list author says: "Tags: [UG] undergraduate; [AUG] advanced UG; [G] graduate level.

More basic material toward the top; more specialized or mathematical material toward the bottom.

Most of the math and physics I know I have taught myself. I know finding books suitable for self-study can be a challenge. Hopefully, my experience as reflected in this list will be helpful to you!"
Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications
1.  Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications by Nouredine Zettili
The list author says:
  "[AUG] If I was just starting QM, I'd read this first, if you have the math background. More formal than, e.g., Miller, covers fewer applications. Like the top-down structure: Ch 2 math tools incl def. of Hilbert space; Ch 3 postulates; Ch 4 1-D problems incl. harmonic oscillator using algebraic ops. Like a baby Shankar! The many solved problems are a huge plus."
$60.11   Used & New from: $49.75
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Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers
2.  Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers by D. A. B. Miller
The list author says:
  "[AUG] Clear, student-friendly applied-oriented exposition. Covers a lot, incl. density matrix, fermion operators, Bell's theorem. After reading so many complaints about "standard" texts, tried Miller and was happy I did. Also check out Zettili, more theory / math oriented but given what I could read at books.google.com, my #1 choice for a first book, supplemented by Miller for  applications."
$88.99   Used & New from: $59.75
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

An Introduction to Quantum Theory
3.  An Introduction to Quantum Theory by F. S. Levin
The list author says:
  "[AUG/G] Don't know why this wonderful book doesn't get more attention! Too substantial, I am guessing... more detailed & more formal than other introductory QM texts I've studied. Great for self-study but only for dedicated autodidacts who want more than a typical intro's worth of knowledge under their QM belts. Overall, very highly recommended.  Cf. my Amazon review."
$119.99   Used & New from: $5.98
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics
4.  A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics by John S. Townsend
The list author says:
  "[AUG] Innovative introduction. Generally clear. Very few answers to problems. Very informal: no intro to Hilbert spaces.  Focuses on physics, incl. path integrals, fascinating discussion of NH3 maser, Aharonov-Bohm effect. Atypically, starts with intrinsic spin and angular momentum; wave mechanics does not come into play until ch. 6. Overall: enjoyable but not the best for a 1st book."
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3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Essential Quantum Mechanics
5.  Essential Quantum Mechanics by Gary E. Bowman
The list author says:
  "[AUG]If you're learning QM on your own but feel it's not quite sticking, then do yourself a favor give Bowman a try. For more details, see my Amazon review :)"
$54.72   Used & New from: $38.08
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition
6.  Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition by Ramamurti Shankar
The list author says:
  "[G/AUG]  Just ok for self-study. Don't like the formal development. Overall I'm less enthusiastic than I used to be, given more recent excellent texts like Levin's. Overall  Very poor production quality!"
$93.56   Used & New from: $49.35
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Quantum Mechanics
7.  Quantum Mechanics by Gennaro Auletta
The list author says:
  "[G/AUG] Very logical development & does not hide the math; treats many newer topics not found in other intros: eg. measurement theory, decoherence, interaction free measurements, delayed choice, quantum  eraser, quantum zeno effects. Assumes more math / physics than typical, so  for many, not best for first book. I return to this book often. Cf. my Amazon review."
$83.33   Used & New from: $61.58
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory
8.  Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory by Franz Gross
The list author says:
  "[AUG/G] Making the leap to QFT, especially for self-learners, is difficult. Gross understands the difficulties and can help you get to the promised land!."
$113.56   Used & New from: $107.69
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Physics and Astronomy)
9.  The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Physics and Astronomy) by Arthur Zajonc
The list author says:
  "[AUG] By far the best book I've found for gaining a solid understanding of many key experimental results in QM until about 2002.  Complements standard undergraduate textbooks on quantum mechanics very well and is suitable for self-study.  Assumes familiarity with calculus and UG physics.  Cf. my Amazon review."
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4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations
10.  Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations by C. J. Isham
The list author says:
  "[G/AUG] Great lectures on the foundations of QM but not for beginners. Should understand something about linear functional analysis and Hilbert spaces before tackling this on your own. But if you're interested in issues of interpretation, then this is a pedagogically sound, totally reliable source by a world-class physicist. But be forewarned that it is not an easy read."
$27.47   Used & New from: $25.89
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Linear Functional Analysis (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series)
11.  Linear Functional Analysis (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series) by Bryan P. Rynne
The list author says:
  "[AUG / G] My favorite book on linear functional analysis.  Why list it here?  If you wanna learn the math behind QM, I recommend studying some linear functional analysis independently and this is simply the best book on that subject I've found."
$39.96   Used & New from: $30.04
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Introductory Functional Analysis with Applications
12.  Introductory Functional Analysis with Applications by Erwin Kreyszig
The list author says:
  "[AUG / G] Deservedly a classic. If you're serious about QM foundations, then you really should know a good chunk of this material.  Very self-study friendly."
$118.77   Used & New from: $84.02
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Introduction to Spectral Theory in Hilbert Space (Dover Books on Mathematics)
13.  Introduction to Spectral Theory in Hilbert Space (Dover Books on Mathematics) by Gilbert Helmberg
The list author says:
  "[AUG/G] Superb intro to HS theory! Clear, careful, concise exposition for those not wanting to fill in important material via exercises, a practice I detest.  Prereqs: linear algebra; some analysis, topology, group theory. Nice pace: Hilbert spaces on p. 23; spectrum p.158. Has spectral analysis of unbounded self-adjoint operators. Anyone interested in HS formalism of QM should check it out!"
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Linear Operators for Quantum Mechanics (Dover Books on Physics)
14.  Linear Operators for Quantum Mechanics (Dover Books on Physics) by Thomas F. Jordan
The list author says:
  "[G / AUG] Extremely succinct and rigorous exposition of the mathematical basis of QM. If you're determined to understand this stuff, this is a very good book to read (and reread).  However, you better have the needed math background and be able to read very small font!"
$11.64   Used & New from: $4.81
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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gengogakusha "gengogakusha" (Tarrytown, NY USA)
Qualifications: life-long autodidact; retired research scientist
Last updated: 2/11/12
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