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Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals: Emended Edition (Dover Books on Physics) [Paperback]

Richard P. Feynman , Albert R. Hibbs , Daniel F. Styer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 23, 2010 0486477223 978-0486477220 Emended Editon
From astrophysics to condensed matter theory, nearly all of modern physics employs the path integral technique. In this presentation, the developer of path integrals and one of the best-known scientists of all time, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard P. Feynman, presents unique insights into this method and its applications. Avoiding dense, complicated descriptions, Feynman articulates his celebrated theory in a clear, concise manner, maintaining a perfect balance between mathematics and physics.
This emended edition of the original 1965 publication corrects hundreds of typographical errors and recasts many equations for clearer comprehension. It retains the original's verve and spirit, and it is approved and endorsed by the Feynman family. The opening chapters explore the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics and introduce path integrals. Subsequent chapters cover more advanced topics, including the perturbation method, quantum electrodynamics, and the relation of path integrals to statistical mechanics. In addition to its merit as a text for graduate courses in physics, this volume serves as an excellent resource for professionals. 

Frequently Bought Together

Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals: Emended Edition (Dover Books on Physics) + QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library) + Feynman's Tips on Physics: Reflections, Advise, Insights, Practice, A Problem-Solving Supplement to the Feynman Lectures on Physics
Price for all three: $42.03

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Feynman (1918-88) received the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics. One of the best-known scientists of his generation, Feynman assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a prominent member of the panel that investigated the 1986 Challenger disaster.
Known worldwide as the voice of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, Albert R. Hibbs (1924-2003) studied for his doctorate under Feynman's tutelage and transcribed and edited Feynman's lectures in quantum electrodynamics.
Daniel F. Styer holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and is the John and Marianne Schiffer Professor of Physics at Oberlin College.

Richard P. Feynman: The Scientist's Scientist
One of the most famous scientists of the twentieth century, and an inexhaustible source of wonderful quotes, Richard Feynman shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics. 1965 was also the year in which Feynman and A. R. Hibbs first published Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, which Dover reprinted in a new edition comprehensively emended by Daniel F. Styer in 2010.

In the Author's Own Words:
"Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle. It is our responsibility as scientists to proclaim the value of this freedom; to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed; and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations."

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."

"Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there."

"To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature. . . . If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in." — Richard P. Feynman

Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Physics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Emended Editon edition (June 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486477223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486477220
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 and grew up in Far Rockaway, New York. At the age of seventeen he entered MIT and in 1939 went to Princeton, then to Los Alamos, where he joined in the effort to build the atomic bomb. Following World War II he joined the physics faculty at Cornell, then went on to Caltech in 1951, where he taught until his death in 1988. He shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965, and served with distinction on the Shuttle Commission in 1986. A commemorative stamp in his name was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2005.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked volumes I and II of the Lectures... July 28, 2010
The Feynman Lectures deserve their status as classics, bringing novel insights and clarity even to topics that one would think ancient and musty (e.g. his exposition of radio waves). I'm not sure I would recommend them as undergraduate texts, since there may be too much wizardry where the solutions depend on deep insights or unexpected symmetries, with perhaps too few examples of brute calculation and no exercises to be worked by the student. However, they are unsurpassed when used to supplement the usual treatments or just to appreciate the beauty of the subject. For some reason, I never had the same feeling toward Volume III (Quantum Mechanics). In part, I think this is because he was trying too hard to reconcile the usual Schroedinger description with his own version of Quantum Mechanics, namely the least action/ path integral approach used in this text. Without the same constraint here (although he does very elegantly derive the wave equation from the least action principle), I experienced the same sense of wonder and awe that I felt from his earlier treatment of mechanics and electricity/magnetism. Although it's only my personal opinion, I would recommend this as the true successor to volumes I and II of the Lectures.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
It is a gospel for all physics students that this masterpiece is finally available as a Dover edition. Written by Feynman himself, this book explains the path integral approach to quantum mechanics in a way that is understandable to every beginning quantum mechanic. Path integrals are integral (sorry, bad English) to the study of quantum field theory and string theory, and you must be a master at it if you would like to work in either of these fields. Purchase this book at once and start working!
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of a classic August 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is wonderful to see this extraordinary work back in print, especially in this attractive low cost Dover edition. As an added bonus, the myriad misprints that plagued the original 1965 printing (and caused me such grief when I first read it in high school) have been corrected.

The path integral approach, so clearly explained in this volume, derived from Feynman's graduate research at Princeton where he applied variational principles to quantum mechanics. This, in turn, was motivated by a seminal 1932 paper of Dirac.

At the time, the formalism appeared to provide only an elegant means of deriving the wave equation without achieving any new results. But elegant mathematics always seems to have a way of finding application in physics. Just look at how formerly "obscure" topics like Lie algebras and differential geometry have become part of the essential language of particle physics. And path integral methods have proved useful in fields ranging from quantum electrodynamics to acoustic propagation.

Like all of Feynman's works, this text combines sound, if unconventional, mathematics with remarkable physical insight. There is still no better introduction to the topics treated here. This book is required reading for anyone wishing to understand quantum mechanics (at least in so far as anyone can understand quantum mechanics) and who intends to pursue more advanced topics.

Heartily recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This fascinating book, written by the Nobel-prize winner Richard Feynman himself, is a deep and easy-to-grasp introduction(for those with a background in Calculus) to the bizzare ideas that come out of modern science. It explains, in clear and entertaining prose, the famous theory of Path Integration. For every person with a background in Calculus who would like to learn some of the most surpising insights that come out of modern science, I recommend this book.
The idea of path integration is simple. It supposes that whenever an object moves from one location to another, it, in a sense, "traces" out all possible paths between the locations. To determine how the object moves, we must consider contributions from all these paths. Feynman explains in this book, with an easy-to-understand writing style, how to perform such integrals, with an eye to practical problems.
Feynman's path integral approach to quantum theory, which he uses in this book, has a vast number of advantages over the Shrodinger Approach, which is used in standard quantum textbooks. For one thing, Feynman's approach is based on only two extremely simple postulates, while the Shrodinger approach is based on a relatively complex equation. Furthermore, Feynman's approach gets students thinking about what Quantum Mechanics actually means, while the Shrodinger approach involves less thinking and more calculation. Feynman's book and his theory encourage students to look at the foundations of quantum theory,and not just the actual calculations.
I am not joking here: this book deserves to be among the classic pieces of literature from the twentieth century. It is such a groundbreaking book because it reveals a deep, bizzare, and counter-intuitive world at the basis of all reality. Every college student should read this to grasp how amazing the universe is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough subject November 7, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite the difficult nature of the subject, this is a wonderful read for anyone interested in Quantum Mechanics. Feyman's brilliance as a physicist and his ability to convey understanding to those of us less gifted are equally matched in this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent approach to QM
Well explained and thorough. Builds great mathematical foundation. Feynman and Hibbs provide superb method building basics stepwise method. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pegasus-rtf
5.0 out of 5 stars A Typical Richard Feynman Understanding of a Complex Subject
Richard Feynman has the un-breakable record of being the most fun and most understandable Physics Nobel Prize winner ever. His book on Quantum Mechanics is typical Feynman. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jay P. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars The best text for getting into Quantum Mechanics.
I've tried a few texts on this subject but never felt satisfied. The standard treatments are very mathematical and non-physical. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Richard O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars very good book
all books by feynmann are both fun to read and very informative, he lets you know when a difficult topic is difficult - some authors write in such a way that even the difficult... Read more
Published 11 months ago by mmdunnill
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for physicist!
Perhaps You can find a better asimpler book and so on , but it's Feynman himself!

I love his style and feeling for physics.
Published 16 months ago by Wojciech Karaś
5.0 out of 5 stars You cannot miss this, if you are a physicist
It is impossible to find the right words to quote a very interesting book like this one. Feynmann is superb.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Calculus of Variations
I have an interest in calculus of variations. I developed an interest in the subject after reading 'Feynman's Lectures in Physics'
volume 2, chapter 19. Read more
Published 18 months ago by leonardnovick
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insights
Most Feynman books are excellent; this one is no exception. The content and delivery are both very well done. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dakini
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid work on Quantum mechanics
In this case the book has perfect presentation of developments, solid basics of work and a clear and thorough explanations of the matter. Read more
Published on July 10, 2012 by A. B. MARQUEZ
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, for certain readers
Since it dates from the 1960s, this book is of primarily historic interest for today's physicists actively working in Quantum Mechanics. Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by H. P. Zeiger
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