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Introduction to Quantum Physics (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) [Paperback]

A.P. French , Edwin F. Taylor
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 17, 1978 0393091066 978-0393091069 1St Edition

Quantum physics concerns the behavior of the smallest things we know. These smallest things are very small indeed. Although the world of the very small is remote from our senses, it shapes everyday experience.

Almost everything we touch and see (together with nerve impulses and light, the messengers of touch and sight) owes its character to the subtle architecture of atoms and molecules, an architecture whose building code is quantum mechanics. And when we come to large-scale phenomena that depends in a direct way on the details of atomic processes-for example lasers, superconductors, and solid-state electronics-then the explicit use of quantum physics is essential.

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Introduction to Quantum Physics (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) + Special Relativity (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) + Vibrations and Waves (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series
  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1St Edition edition (May 17, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393091066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393091069
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and really focuses on the Physics November 26, 2002
OK, so this book is old, having been written in the 1970s. For all that, it still does the core things excellently: namely focus on the Physics, the experiments, the theory, AND the people behind the advances.
After going through the antecedents of the classical atomic model, the authors quickly move onto the wave-particle duality. They describe, throughout, groundbreaking experimental work of the likes of Thompson and Davisson & Germer. After setting the foundations, French and Taylor go to the discussion of the one dimensional Schrodinger equation, its physical meaning, and several examples of solutions by means of qualitative plots.
Photons and Quantum States, Angular momentum, Atomic Systems, a detailed discussion of the Hydrogen atom and Radiation from atoms make up the rest of the book.
What I particularly like about this book is that it is grounded in the Physics, with experiment and theory given an equal footing. The authors are gentle with their use of mathematics. The concept of operators is applied to the physical problem. This, despite what to some people would be the book's "old fashioned" nature, is refreshing. Too often, the authors of modern books on Quantum Physics "pose" with fancy mathematics to try to impress their colleagues or students.
This book is easy to read, there are plenty of worked examples and end of chapter exercises to keep the student busy. I recommend this book thoroughly.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Secondary Resource December 22, 2003
By A Customer
This book should seriously be used ONLY with another text. A good one (in my opinion) is Griffiths. It goes into great depth (sometimes too much) conceptually and is very weak with the mathematics. Another reviewer said somethings about not giving many applications, and i agree. It gets the idea down, but no more than that. Griffiths along side this is awesome, and if you have time after those two, take a look at Shakars book; its a little harder mathematically, but if you hit those three together, youll prolly have a good idea of what QM is about. Feynman Lectures also help.
Point being: Dont use this book alone, very good otherwise.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than most December 21, 2003
Although I would agree that this is probably the best book to begin your study of quantum mechanics with, there are still serious flaws with the book. I just finished taking a class that used this text and I found that a major problem is that it never actually 'get's to the point.' Instead of telling you how to apply a technique to solving problems, the text simply assumes that you'll be able to figure that out yourself. So much of the notation goes unexplained and important points go unemphasized. I would suggest using this book if you're a first time student of quantum mechanics but supplement it with another book that explains how to do problems (Liboff or Griffiths).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy introduction to Quantum physics February 10, 2001
This is a typical college text book written in intoductory level. Its approac is classical and explains the concepts relatively slow with examples. The mathematical language used is not modern in a sense that does not use operator language with high symbolizm but rather more classical approach. For students that are used to apply more classical Diff.equations or Real anaylsis, it is much easier even though they implicitly do the same with or without operators. If I were to chose only one book to read, I would have to select the book written by Resnick but obviously the more you read the more view points you will have and of course you will have less time to develop your own. In my opinion this is better than Feynmann Vol.3.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introductory book on the subject. January 2, 2000
This is one of the clearest and well thought out introductions on quantum physics that I've seen. It is beautifully written with abundant diagrams and examples. The chapter on photons and polarization is an excellent pedagogical approach to understanding state vectors. This will also come in handy later on in a more advanced course when trying to understand the motivations behind the postulates of quantum mechanics.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great treatment of basic topics May 1, 2003
By A Customer
Several of the other reviews here express my general, very positive feelings about this book, so I'll concentrate on two specific examples which illustrate the teaching emphasis of the book's authors.
Chapters 6 and 7 introduce quantum states with a brilliant discussion of Dirac's bracket notation using polarization of light as the driving example. The student at this level typically already knows what to expect when, for example, linearly polarized light passes through a linear analyzer oriented at an angle with respect to the polarization axis. The authors develop a set of projection amplitudes for linear and circular polarization which reproduce the results familiar to the student. This makes state vectors easy to understand and, in turn, it's much easier to learn and accept the less intuitive results which come from solving more complex problems later on. I would recommend this book for these two chapters alone.
In Chapter 9 the authors in just a few pages develop a simple but quantitative theory of alpha decay which is easy to follow and relates half-life (or decay constant) to alpha-particle energy with no adjustable parameters. They then compare their result to experiment and show agreement over 24 orders of magnitude of half-life. This example wonderfully illustrates the power of simple, clear reasoning to achieve a widely applicable result. Fantastic job!
I own three or four introductory quantum mechanics texts, but this is the one I turn to first.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great content, poor package
This is a great book on introductory quantum mechanics written by two outstanding teachers. It covers what I call a 'classical' course on quantum mechanics, Old QM, the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alexandre Tort
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice second reference
I took a Quantum Physics course when I was an Undergraduate student, and this was the professor's choice. This is a good book to be used with another title like Griffith's book. Read more
Published on November 7, 2010 by arcturus
4.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Ideas
Congratulations on job well done. Hello from Shailesh Kadakia, the author of book True Physics of LIght, Beyond Relativity. Read more
Published on October 12, 2010 by Sky Kadakia
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Introduction to Quantum Physics
I would recommend this book on quantum physics for someone just learning the subject because it guides you through the quantum landscape by focusing on the Physics instead of just... Read more
Published on July 15, 2010 by JC Maxwell
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
This book is pretty average. It doesn't generate much excitement about the subject, and it really doesn't give as much detail as it should. Read more
Published on April 14, 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
This volume, part of the MIT Introductory Series, is appropriate for the advanced undergraduate in physics or the graduate student changing majors from engineering to physics, as a... Read more
Published on January 15, 2002 by Peter Capani
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful intro text for the able freshmen/sophomores
This book was ahead of its time when it was published in 1978 and is still one of the better intro texts that stresses the basic principles and the experimental justifications. Read more
Published on December 1, 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Read this to miss out on Quantum Physics
I used this book for my intro to Quantum Physics class at Cornell. Although some of the problems are nice, the book itself blows. Read more
Published on October 19, 2001 by "n0madic1"
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