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Quantum Mechanics: Theory and Experiment Hardcover – May 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199798125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199798124
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I think this is an excellent text, and I recommend it strongly for an advanced undergraduate course in quantum mechanics."
-- Mark Fox, University of Sheffield

About the Author

Mark Beck received his Bachelor's and Doctoral degrees in Optics from the University of Rochester. He has taught physics at Reed College, and is currently the Benjamin H. Brown Professor of Physics at Whitman College. His research interests include quantum optics and quantum measurement.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew M. Springer on June 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There's no definitive intro QM book. This one isn't it either - such a thing may not be possible - but it comes close.

Quantum mechanics usually gets taught starting at the Schrodinger equation in position space for a particle in some potential. This is exactly the wrong way to do it. Quantum mechanics is about vector spaces, and the infinite-dimensional Sturm-Liouville problem that is the position space Schrodinger equation is about the most complicated possible way to try to understand what QM is really all about. The place to start is with the simpler 2D vector spaces, like spin 1/2 systems. This book does just that, working its way up the conceptual chain before arriving at the usual Schrodinger equation relatively late in the book.

Which is how it should be done. Professor Beck should be commended for doing that, and doing it in a readable, conversational, but still mathematically solid way. Were I a professor teaching an undergrad QM class, this is the book I would use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By fathalpert22 on June 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to take Quantum Mechanics with Professor Beck last semester (Spring 13) and I believe it was the first time he had taught using his completely finished and published book. The thing I really loved about this book was the ordering of the content. We began with a classical study of polarization. From there, the book very smoothly transitions to a quantum study of polarization. The reason this worked really well for me is that polarization being a two-state system, the introduction of bras and kets to denote a state was simple and intuitive. Continuing with the two-state theme, the book then goes into spin 1/2 and then on to spin-1 (adding one more basis state). By now, the reader is pretty comfortable with quantum mechanical notation and the algebra of state vectors and he/she is ready for the jump to wave functions. Again, I think the ordering made a whole lot of sense and it was my favourite part of the book.

Besides the approach, there were great chapters towards the end introducing the reader to perturbation theory and quantum fields in a very accessible way. The last chapter is a fascinating introduction to Quantum Computing. Finally, the labs at the end of the book are well-structured and tie in with the material of the book perfectly. This is another advantage of Professor Beck's book -- theory and experiment are TRULY presented together in a cohesive manner. Overall I highly recommend this book for a junior-level QM class.
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