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Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition Hardcover – March 16, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0306447907 ISBN-10: 0306447908 Edition: 2nd

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Editorial Reviews


`An excellent text....The postulates of quantum mechanics and the mathematical underpinnings are discussed in a clear, succint manner.' - American Scientist, from a review of the First Edition

From the Back Cover

Reviews from the First Edition:

"An excellent text … The postulates of quantum mechanics and the mathematical underpinnings are discussed in a clear, succinct manner." (American Scientist)

"No matter how gently one introduces students to the concept of Dirac’s bras and kets, many are turned off. Shankar attacks the problem head-on in the first chapter, and in a very informal style suggests that there is nothing to be frightened of." (Physics Bulletin)

Reviews of the Second Edition:

"This massive text of 700 and odd pages has indeed an excellent get-up, is very verbal and expressive, and has extensively worked out calculational details---all just right for a first course. The style is conversational, more like a corridor talk or lecture notes, though arranged as a text. … It would be particularly useful to beginning students and those in allied areas like quantum chemistry." (Mathematical Reviews)


R. Shankar has introduced major additions and updated key presentations in this second edition of Principles of Quantum Mechanics. New features of this innovative text include an entirely rewritten mathematical introduction, a discussion of Time-reversal invariance, and extensive coverage of a variety of path integrals and their applications. Additional highlights include:

- Clear, accessible treatment of underlying mathematics

- A review of Newtonian, Lagrangian, and Hamiltonian mechanics

- Student understanding of quantum theory is enhanced by separate treatment of mathematical theorems and physical postulates

- Unsurpassed coverage of path integrals and their relevance in contemporary physics

The requisite text for advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level students, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition is fully referenced and is supported by many exercises and solutions. The book’s self-contained chapters also make it suitable for independent study as well as for courses in applied disciplines.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 676 pages
  • Publisher: Plenum Press; 2nd edition (March 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306447908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306447907
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a very clear and enjoyable treatment of quantum mechanics.
Eric D. Black
This is probably the best book to learn the subject at an advanced undergraduate or a first-year graduate level.
Stan S.
This is a great book and Shankar really makes things clear and understandable.
Jim Watson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 111 people found the following review helpful By S. D Webb on April 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One major complaint I have about many textbooks is that they are not particularly self-contained: often times the texts simply don't develop the subjects you need to know to read the book, instead depending on other texts to do so. To some extent I understand this, you can't teach somebody everything they need to know about differential equations in the first chapter of a classical mechanics book and still leave space for classical mechanics.
This text addresses that issue perfectly. The introductory section on linear algebra stands by itself very well, and in my opinion is at least as good as the opening sections of Sakurai on linear algebra. It also provides a section on Hamiltonian and Lagrangian mechanics, which the reader can either skip and refer to later or read through, without really disrupting the continuity of the book.
All well and good, it sets up the background for quantum mechanics very well, but the key point is how it addresses quantum mechanics itself. And I have to say that it addresses the subject elegantly. It provides well-written sections that are actually entertaining to read, and presents each problem with the brevity it deserves. With the free particle, Shankar simply gives the propagator and procedes to the next section, which is about all that can be done for the free particle, since the energy eigenstates are not normalizeable. The treatment of the quantum harmonic oscillator is among the most complete I've ever seen, approaching it from every possible angle and devoting an entire chapter to the varied solutions.
And all this is done with a great deal of clarity.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
How many quantum mechanics textbooks can you think of that have funny jokes in them? Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics has everything a student needs to gain a deep understanding of the fundamentals, including an introduction to the math and notation used in upper-level university quantum mechanics courses, treatment of the uncertainty relations and their origins, angular momentum, the hydrogen atom, perturbation theory, scattering, correspondence between classical and quantum mechanics, and humor. Shankar also explains the context in which quantum mechanics was invented. While the writing is concise, it is full of insightful observations, and numerous irresistable, yet deep, questions to ponder. On the other hand, the explanation of the basics is clear enough and unassuming enough that if you had to, you could learn quantum mechanics just from this book, in spite of an incomprehensible professor. As a graduate student, I still refer to this text whenever basic quantum mechanics questions arise. Although I used this book originally as an undergraduate taking quantum mechanics, it has inspired me more than once as I struggled through graduate problem sets and derivations for my research. I enthusiastically recommend Shankar's book to juniors and seniors at the university level, and to others at a higher level seeking a clear explanation of the fundamentals of quantum mechanics.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is THE Quantum Mechanics Text. We used it for the 98-99 graduate course in QM at UC Santa Barbara. I had never really studied QM before, and without Shankar's book guiding me, I don't think I would have made it through the course. QM is not an easy subject, but if you have a genuine desire to learn, Shankar's book will make the experience as painless as possible, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun! A few notable points of the book: A nice physicist's intro to the elements of functional analysis as needed for Dirac's version of QM- which is what most of the book is based on. A good treatment of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics that allows one to appreciate the transition from classical mechanics to QM. Postulates first, explanations of them, and then applications later. Also a good intro to Path integrals and field quantization for those that plan to take Quantum Field Theory. Hopefully someday Shankar will write a book on Quantum Field Theory!
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tobias James Osborne on December 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Shankar is one of those rare beasts which attain the perfect mixture of physical insight and rigourous mathematics. The way quantum mechanics is being taught these days is slowly evolving to take into account the recent advances in condensed matter physics and quantum information science. Shankar's book has a thoroughly modern feel to it, which I feel is entirely complementary the new understanding of quantum mechanics currently being developed.
Shankar presents the axioms of quantum mechanics early, just after going through a self-contained introduction to the mathematics required to understand the content of the book. The only criticism I have of this book is that the motivation for the axioms seems a little weak. He then goes through all the standard subjects, eg., angular momentum, scattering theory etc. One nice feature is a very clear description of Feynman's path integral. Another great feature of this book is the inclusion of a broad selection of exercises, most of which are trivial (and hence confidence-building), but still *interesting*. There are partial solutions as well.
One of the most unexpected features of this book is that, unlike most learning books, it does not become useless once you have gone through it. At the end of the book there is a beautiful chapter on advanced topics, including, the quantum Hall effect, the Berry phase, and Feynman's path integral as applied to condensed matter physics. The small section on the integral and fractional quantum Hall effects is surely the quickest way to learn about the basic effect.
Shankar will continually reward the reader, from the moment you pick it up to learn quantum mechanics for the first time, to the point where you begin research in condensed matter physics, high energy physics, quantum information or any other branch of physics.
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Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition
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