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This is probably the best book on the Copenhagen (the standard orthodoxy) approach to quantum mechanics. It was written by the most radical theoretical physicist in the last 70 years. Bohm wrote it when he was teaching at Princeton before Oppenheimer's machination got him thrown out of the US to protect Oppenheimer's own communist background (he was also envious of Bohm's genius). In the 1940s, there were still extensive discussions about what QM means (all the theorists were comfortable with the various equivalent math approaches but were utterly confused.) The rivalry between Bohr/Heisenberg's view (subsequently called the Copenhagen Interpretation) and the views of Schroedinger, Einstein & de Broglie was brutal; each camp accused the other of producing nonsensical interpretations. Ironically, Bohm (who was a sincere admirer of Einstein and Bohr) created this masterpiece that attempted to explicate the vague, ambiguous ramblings of Bohr by using the mathematics of de Broglie and Schroedinger. In fact, as several reviewers have pointed out, all the math you need is Fourier Analysis but this approach smuggles in all the ideas of electrons as waves. So pay a lot of attention at this point.
The problem here is that (as Bohm admits in his preface) this new view requires a dramatic shift in our fundamental conceptual framework (not just of classical mechanics but ordinary language and the western model of reality as isolated things; both of which can be readily visualized and thus "understood"). Bohm believes he has presented wave mechanics in an understandable and imaginative manner. Unfortunately, this new way of looking at reality is exceedingly difficult so that QM today has regressed to its original mathematical formulation, which is now fully acceptable to math-soaked theoretical physicists.
Bohm's solution is to resurrect Heisenberg's "potentia" approach where quantum objects, no longer have fixed properties that we think about at normal times but they change their character depending on how the electron interacts with other matter. This leads to Bohm's conclusion that at the atomic level (or smaller) the world operates as a single, integrated whole. This is the jumping off point for Bohm's later investigations into the 'Implicate Order' that took the rest of his life to explore.
It was Bohm's intent to present the main ideas of quantum theory in non-mathematical terms rather than as some mysterious, axiomatic set of mathematics "that works". Although this is by far (in my personal opinion & I've been studying QM for 50+ years) the best attempt to provide an explanation he cannot overcome the contradiction (physicists call it a "paradox") that a single object (like an electron) cannot simultaneously BE a localized particle and a wave that extends across all of space. In other words, EXISTENCE is the primary property of reality; objects must first exist (somewhere) before two or more may interact together. The wave-function combines implied mutual existence between TWO electrons (one being in a macro-sized measuring device) with the Broglie's periodic interactivity.
None-the-less, I still highly recommend this book. At the very least, your head will have gone to the 'mental gym' for 12 months getting through it & you will learn all the wrinkles. QM is tough - there are no easy short-cuts as many authors imply.
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on March 17, 2017
Definitely the best introductory QM book out there.Professor Bohm spends the first part of the book explaining the need for QM and the various subtleties of the subject material.He doesn't just throw a bunch of equations at you and ask that you accept them as most other introductory QM texts do(Griffith's QM book is extremely guilty of this) and it is this aspect of the book that really helps set it apart from the rest.This book also helped me to get through Sakurai's more advanced QM textbook.Once you're done with it,you can finally claim to understand QM.Highly recommended.
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on December 3, 2009
I have to agree completely with Gregory Bravo's review. I feel sorry for all the poor physics students struggling through their undergraduate quantum mechanics courses without the help of David Bohm. I bought every quantum mechanics book that I could get my hands on, because I had heard so many horror stories about the difficulty of the subject. It seems that this is the only book I needed to buy. As it turns out, quantum mechanics is not so difficult, afterall.

Equip yourself with this book, Schaum's Outline on Quantum Mechanics (keeping a keen eye out for errors, mind you), and whatever pathetic excuse for a text you are given, and you should be fine, assuming you have a half-way decent professor. Don't let the fact that this is a dated book lacking Dirac notation deter you. You learn all that notation in QM courses, anyways, so a clear exposition of concepts should be what you want, and no one does it better than David Bohm.
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on January 25, 2016
This is a great foundation book in Quantum physics. I need to get another one as my previous copy has been destroyed. The author is one of the luminaries of the field, although as a young theoretical physics Ph.D student, who asked to do research in the area he championed at the time, I was told: "Oh, there are still a few who like to rock the boat" and refused permission!!
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on December 27, 2013
This book is a very, very good book on quantum mechanics. I am a junior EE major and this book is at just the level that I wanted. It is mildly challenging, but if you went through the freshman and sophmore level physics and math classes you should be able to read the book without too much difficulty. I especially liked how Bohm wanted to try to develop some intuition rather than just teach how to solve problems (I don't Griffiths for this reason). I also enjoyed the chapters on measurements in quantum mechanics. If you're considering buying this don't hesitate and just do it. At less than 20 dollars you can't go wrong.
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on July 30, 2016
Fantastic book!
The great david bohm represents the most comprehensive and acceptable interpretation of the quantum theory in this book.
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on February 3, 2013
This book has an excellent discussion of the experiments that led to the theoretical development of quantum ideas. The math is on par for an early to mid level undergraduate class class in physics. I appreciate having the mathematics developed in the text, so that there is also a rigorous development of the ideas. There are problems scattered through the text that are reasonable to do after having read the relevant sections. But the prose is excellent, the author really takes time to explain the intuition behind the math. Even if you skip over some or most of the math, one still learns much from the text alone.
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on May 1, 2016
This is the scientist who plumbed the depths of language to clarify human systems. Read everything he wrote and you will be much the better for the experience.
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on April 2, 2013
I've only started reading Bohm's book on quantum theory by flipping to parts of immediate interest to me, but already I'm very impressed. I've always been confused by treatments of Heisenberg's matrix mechanics, but Bohm's discussion is very clear and I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. He also has a great section on how half-integer spin comes about. I think the book contains a good mix of abstract fundamentals and particular examples, and the problems also seem interesting.
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on July 9, 2017
Great book!
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