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Quantum Physics: A Fundamental Approach to Modern Physics [Hardcover]

John Townsend , Laurel Muller
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 7, 2009 1891389629 978-1891389627 First
This brilliantly innovative textbook is intended as a first introduction to quantum mechanics and its applications. Townsend's new text shuns the historical ordering that characterizes so-called Modern Physics textbooks and applies a truly modern approach to this subject, starting instead with contemporary single-photon and single-atom interference experiments. The text progresses naturally from a thorough introduction to wave mechanics through applications of quantum mechanics to solid-state, nuclear, and particle physics, thereby including most of the topics normally presented in a Modern Physics course. Examples of topics include blackbody radiation, Bose-Einstein condensation, the band-structure of solids and the silicon revolution, the curve of binding energy and nuclear fission and fusion, and the Standard Model of particle physics. Students can see in quantum mechanics a common thread that ties these topics into a coherent picture of how the world works, a picture that gives students confidence that quantum mechanics really works, too. The book also includes a chapter-length appendix on special relativity for the benefit of students who have not had a previous exposure to this subject. Also available is an accompanying, detailed Instructor's Solutions Manual for adopting professors.

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Quantum Physics: A Fundamental Approach to Modern Physics + Special Relativity + Waves and Oscillations: A Prelude to Quantum Mechanics
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Editorial Reviews

Review

When I read this book I immediately adopted it for my sophomore Modern Physics class. This is the best introduction to quantum mechanics available. --B. Paul Padley, Rice University

Townsend has written an excellent book that someone needed to write for the Modern Physics textbook market. He has given it the same care that he gave to his excellent quantum mechanics book. --Jeff Dunham, Middlebury College

About the Author

John S. Townsend is the Susan and Bruce Worster Professor of Physics at Harvey Mudd College, the science and engineering college of the Claremont Colleges. He received his B.S. from Duke University, his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He has been a visiting professor at Caltech, the University of Southampton in England, Duke University and Swarthmore College, and he was a Science Fellow at the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University. He loves teaching, especially quantum physics. Townsend is also the author of A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 510 pages
  • Publisher: University Science Books; First edition (August 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891389629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891389627
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.3 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(10)
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what book the other reviewers read... November 11, 2011
By rklh
Format:Hardcover
I used this book in a sophomore modern physics course. The book is an excellent introduction to modern physics and quantum mechanics. It eschews bra-ket notation and a more common historical approach for an intuition-based approach developed in the first chapter (the quantum nature of light) and continued throughout. The book, overall, emphasizes a qualitative as well as quantitative understanding of physical phenomena, providing an excellent foundation for a junior-level intermediate quantum mechanics course. Although occasionally chatty in tone, the book originates from the author's lecture notes from teaching the course, and as a result the sections are in bite-sized pieces. The occasional chattiness does not get in the way of rigorous derivations, though. I would strongly recommend this book to sophomore level physics students; its level is too elementary for a junior level course, but it serves as an intuitive introduction to the subject.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for introductory course! January 28, 2012
By A. Ruiz
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not quite like all the other introductory quantum physics books out there. I have been reading and trying to look for a textbook to learn Quantum physics, and this is it. Upon reading reviews of other books on amazon I came across a comment (the reviewer was talking about Richard L. Liboff's book) that summarizes the consensus of all other quantum textbooks in the market:

"Not a great text for a course, but then again.... what quantum text *is* a good book for a quantum course?"

I believe that this textbook (which is relatively new in the market) is a GREAT book for a quantum course. As the title suggest, it truly does have a "fundamental approach" to the world of quantum physics, more so when compared to all other introductory quantum books.

In the end, you should really give Townsend's book a chance! This book might not surpass Liboff's or Grifith's when it comes to being used as a raw "reference" text, but I can say with a high degree of confidence that there is no better book to teach undergraduates what quantum is all about.

I would not be surprised if it becomes the most popular introductory quantum textbook for physics undergraduates!

PS: I also appreciate the price tag that the author has set. It really feels like Townsend wrote the book to teach students and for his passion on the subject, rather than for making money off undergraduates.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory textbook January 26, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent introduction to quantum physics. It is written clearly and organized well. I recommend this for people learning the material on their own as well as people in a class on the subject.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vague, Uninteresting May 14, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I believe that a student could probably go from an introductory physics course (which nowadays should touch on the basics of modern physics anyways) straight to Townsend's more advanced Quantum Mechanics book and not lose anything. For that reason, I am not sure why he wrote this text. The exposition strives to be clear, but the details are so obscured that that it was very unsatisfying to endure.

But I did appreciate that it was a "modern" modern physics text---my university used the similar McIntyre book for Quantum Mechanics and I enjoyed it very much.
A major difference was that in the latter bra-ket notation was introduced immediately which was delightfully more simple than the vague verbal approach.
The concreteness of the linear algebraic computations immediately gave the students a sense of learning something new and of computational ability in the subject.
And throughout, the mathematical justification of the physics was much more rewarding.

In all, this the least interesting physic text I have used, and I wish I could have skipped the course that used it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's great June 19, 2014
By Rachel
Format:Hardcover
It is an excellent undergraduate level quantum textbook and I would highly recommend it. The first chapter does a wonderful job of transitioning from where most Physics II courses leave off (optics and the beginnings of quantum energy levels) into the quantum topics.
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