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Introductory Quantum Mechanics (3rd Edition) [Hardcover]

Richard L. Liboff
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, July 1997 --  
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Introductory Quantum Mechanics (4th Edition) Introductory Quantum Mechanics (4th Edition) 3.6 out of 5 stars (29)
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Book Description

July 1997 0201878798 978-0201878790 3rd
By providing detailed explanations of challenging concepts for students and by offering professors an extensive list of subjects, the third edition of this best-selling quantum mechanics text follows the continuing evolution of physics in both esoteric and pragmatic directions. A new chapter, 15, develops the subject of relativistic waves, beginning with a review of basic relativistic concepts and continues with derivation of the Klein-Gordon equation. The chapter delves into the Dirac theory and the Dirac formulation of the four-dimensional spin operator, and concludes with a brief introduction to the covariant formulation of relativistic quantum mechanics. The revision also includes new descriptions and discussions of quantum-well configurations relevant to the quantum dot and the quantum wire and pertinent to semiconductor technology. Employing an assortment of symmetry principles, the transfer matrix method is developed and employed to regain the Kronig-Penny dispersion relation. The discussion of impurity semiconductors has been revised and is accompanied by a new subsection on the p-n junction. A new description of the Hartree-Fock model is included in the revision, which affords a method for obtaining approximate atomic wavefunctions and eigenenergies. This description complements the Thomas-Fermi model, which was new to the second edition. The third edition of Introductory Quantum Mechanics also includes a number of new intriguing problems many of which carry solutions, and a new, informative periodic chart appearing on the inside flap of the front cover. As with his previous editions, Liboff starts with a review of the most relevant elements of classical mechanics and proceeds through two parts that develop quantum theory.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Careful and detailed explanations of challenging concepts, and comprehensive and up-to-date coverage in this best-selling quantum mechanics book, continue to set the standard in physics education. In this new edition, a new chapter on the revolutionary topic of of quantum computing (not currently covered in any other book at this level) and thorough updates to the rest of the book bring it up to date. For anyone interested physics or quantum mechanics. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Dr. Richard Liboff received his Ph.D. in Physics from New York University in 1961 and was appointed to the Physics department at the same university upon graduation. He came to Cornell University in 1964, where he is presently a Full Professor of Applied Physics, Applied Math, and Electrical Engineering. He has served as visiting professor at numerous universities and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1984 in support of a Visiting Professorship of Physics at Tel Aviv University.

He has written over 100 scientific articles and has authored four textbooks. His research specialties include condensed-matter theory, kinetic theory, applied math, and elements of astrophysics.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 874 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub (Sd); 3rd edition (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201878798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201878790
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good text book overall June 8, 2005
Places need improvement:

1. Time independent perturbation theory - The justifications for the derivation steps that lead to degenerate case are terrible. The place I learned degenerate perturbation method is from Fayer (Elements of Quantum mechanics).

2. Addition of angular momentum - For a beginner whom has never seen this done, just reading that section about addition of angular momentum, I don't believe one would walk away with anything but confusion. This section seriously needs some rewriting.


1. Very complete! This means pretty much anything that one would encounter in undergrad quantum mechanics course is included here, in contrast to Griffith whom enjoys making you work through the exericses and have you arrive the results yourself. Having said that, this is a great book for reference.

2. For 3-D problems, there are many nice tables in the chapter that summarize all the important functions such as Neumann, Hankel, Legendre...etc. Furthermore, many commonly used spherical harmonics functions contained in a giant table is included. Once again, this makes it a great reference book as well.

3. Some harder exercises in the book contain answers or partial answers. The problems are not too hard which allows one to build confidence through solving theml

4. Includes a bonus chapter on quantum computing and a chapter on relativistic quantum mechanics which are both RARE things to be found in introductory textbooks.

5. One BIG chapter devoted to real-world applications...this is usually lacking in physics curriculum!!

Conclusion: As it is with any book out there, there are always good things and bad things about the book, however, there are significantly more good things I can say about this book than its shortcomings....Therefore, BUY this book to learn Quantum!
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not For Everyone! February 22, 2000
This book is incredibly comprehensive, but I wouldn't recommend it for the typical undergrad. In my experience with the book, I found it annoyingly elitist, like many physics texts. There are plenty of "...the rest is left as an exercise" and "the good student will notice..." comments scattered throughout the book. I would prefer a text with a focus that is not so narrowly centered on physics students. For those of you who are looking for a book on Quantum Mechanics to teach to a fair cross-section of undergraduates (i.e. chemistry students, mathemeticians, and engineers), don't get this book. For example, I was in the class with a friend of mine who is a mechanical engineer (and a good student), who wished to pursue graduate work in nuclear engineering. This book nearly scared him away. Griffiths writes a better text for those of us who can admit that we prefer background, examples, applications, and explicit derivation in a text.

Edit: 12/2004 - Again I find that with the passage of time wisdom and experience gives one perspective. Ironically, even though I was initially turned off by this book, I often use it as a reference. It is an excellent text to accompany both Griffiths' intro book and Merzbacher. Not a great text for a course, but then again.... what quantum text *is* a good book for a quantum course?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, but requires a supplement February 12, 2004
Liboff goes into much more detail in his explanations than do many other undergraduate texts on quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, it is often necessary to look at another book before you begin trying to decifer this one. In my undergraduate quantum course I often read Griffiths first to give me a basic idea of what it was I needed to understand, and then I would follow through with Liboff in order to actually understand it. This book was definitely helpful with a first course in Quantum Mechanics.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners January 13, 2000
By A Customer
The first course in quantum mechanics that I took at Berkeley required only the Griffiths book. After realizing how terrible that book was, I picked up the Liboff book and was thoroughly satisfied. Although it is lacking in depth at some points, the subject matter is chosen very well and each section is reasonably self contained (as much as it can be in this subject). The mathematical level is just right for a second/third year physics major as it does a good job introducing new mathematics such as Airy functions, Legendre polynomials, spherical harmonics, and spherical Bessel and Neumann functions. It is also nice to see Liboff give a taste of more advanced topics such as path integration and relativistic quantum mechanics. The treatment of angular momenta and their addition (orbital and spin) is especially good for beginners. All undergraduates in physics would benefit from this text.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for reading without a teacher. January 31, 2004
First a little about myself. I was a math major when I went to school thirty years ago. I took a few elementary physics courses back then but remember very little. I read most of Principles of QM by P.A.M. Dirac before I read this book. However I have not read any other texts and so I cannot do a good job of comparing this book to others. I have the second printing of the fourth edition. This printing has hundreds of typos. I sent a bunch of e-mails to Professor Liboff informing him of the ones that I found and he indicated to me that in subsequent printings these typos would be fixed.
I found that I was able to understand most of it without access to a teacher to help me. My complaint with Dirac is that although it explains theory quite well, it doesn't privide problem solving techniques. Liboff's book is quite good for that. As for theory, although Dirac is more thorough, there were important gaps in my understanding after reading Dirac that were cleared up by Liboff. Liboff is easier to understand.
In the fourth edition there is a new chapter on Quantum Computing. In my opinion, this chapter is extremely weak. Shor's algorithm for factoring integers is a probabilistic one, but this fact is not mentioned in the text. A probabilistic algorithm, simply stated, is one that does not always work. For instance Shor's algorithm fails to factor the number 9, but Liboff uses 9 as an example. In fact there is a definition of probabilistic algorithms in the book, but it fails to bring out the features that make Shor's alorithm understandable. Fortunately, this one bad chapter does not ruin the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong edition
I received the incorrect edition of the book. I was supposed to get the fourth edition and received the third.
Published 4 months ago by DJ Wieczorek
2.0 out of 5 stars Explanations are unclear as too many steps are left out
The examples and proofs leave out enough of steps and explanations that even a prepared and motivated student will get lost. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Murray R Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Quantum Mechanics book I've ever had
It's also the only Quantum Mechanics book I've ever had.

If my midterm exam grade is any indication, then I think this book has more than met my expectations.
Published 15 months ago by R. Leger
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Introductory
This is a great book if you have completed undergrad QM and are starting graduate courses in the subject and already have an idea of what's going on but as an undergrad this is an... Read more
Published on March 28, 2012 by remorri2
2.0 out of 5 stars Liboff should stick to physics and not writing text books
For an introductory quantum mechanics text, Liboff is way too dry. There is no easy way to introduce quantum mechanics for undergrads, but this book is simply unreadable. Read more
Published on June 14, 2011 by N. Rasmussen
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good for most people studying quantum
Unless you're looking to go straight to field theory or some other "pure" form of quantum, this is probably one of the best books you can pick up, particularly for people who are... Read more
Published on November 21, 2009 by C. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Best used as a QM reference text
This is definitely the most comprehensive QM textbook out there. That said, I disagree with the majority of the reviews that claim this is a good text to learn QM from in an... Read more
Published on September 23, 2008 by Fred Manley
2.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor and get Griffiths
Griffiths is clearly a better choice than this book; while it covers the material in an introductory undergraduate course, it definitely does not have good organization. Read more
Published on September 18, 2008 by Domnu
3.0 out of 5 stars Quantum book cover gauged
I was dissapointed to find large deep scratches on the front cover of my "new" book. Other than that it was fine.
Published on October 9, 2007 by C. Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars the qm encyclopedia
It's a bit old school but very complete. No book is as thick or helpful.
Add this to your bookshelf.
Published on September 19, 2007 by Student
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