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Introduction to Quantum Mechanics [Hardcover]

David J. Griffiths
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2nd Edition) Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2nd Edition) 3.9 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

Aug. 2 1994 0131244051 978-0131244054 1
Written by the author of the best-selling E & M text, this text is designed to teach students how to DO quantum mechanics. Part I covers the basic theory; Part II develops approximation schemes and real-world applications.

Features and Benefits

Offers an unusually readable, consistent, and honest discussion of fundamental ideas.
Some books allow students to assume that there are no conceptual problems with quantum mechanics, or conceal the interpretative difficulties with abstract language and dogmatic assertions. Griffiths acknowledges, from the beginning, both the difficulty in understanding quantum mechanics, and the controversy surrounding some of the fundamental ideas.
Avoids a now-unnecessary historical discussion. Starts immediately with quantum mechanics - the Schrödinger equation, and its statistical interpretation, is introduced on the second page.
Explores several exceptionally up-to-date topics - e.g., adiabatic processes (and a treatment of Berrys phase); Bells theorem; the quantum Zeno paradox; and, where appropriate, cites recent papers in the accessible literature.
Contains 315 graded problems offering a wide range of difficulty.
*essential, “confidence builders”;
**more difficult and less crucial;
***most difficult - an hour or more;
no stars- good exercise but not essential or difficult.

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Product Description

From the Publisher

Written by the author of the best-selling E & M text, this text is designed to teach students how to DO quantum mechanics. Part I covers the basic theory; Part II develops approximation schemes and real-world applications.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introductory QM text July 13 2004
This is the best first course quantum mechanics text book by far. I used it as a text in first semester QM. How do I know it is the best? During first semester qm I spent many hours in the school library reading qm books. The library had a large section of qm books. I used to take 10 to 20 books home at a time. I was always looking for better explanations of particular expositions, and I found that often one book gave the clearest exposition in a particular area. Also, Ifound it helpful to read how several books described, for example, solution to the step function and others. But David Griffiths book is the best written book of all those others I read.
The Griffiths book is easy to understand. That is what makes it a good book for the beginning student of qm. Let me give an example of what I am saying: Fourty five years ago, when I first studied calculus, there was only one text book. It was the then venerable Calculus and Analytic Geometry by George Thomas, Jr. This book was not easy to study. It is not a well written book compared to modern calculus text books. But now there are many good calculus text books. Now calculus is a fairly easy subject because the text books are well written. They are student friendly. I think that most qm books are like the Thomas book in that they are not student friendly, and the Griffiths book is the first student friendly qm book in my view.
The one criticism that students might have of the Griffiths books is that the problems are long and time consuming. This is true if you do not use Mathematica or some other math program. If you use Mathematica, the problems can be worked in minutes.
The Griffiths book uses wave mechanics notation throughout, which every physicist must learn. To learn the Dirac notation, the best book I found (and the most elegant qm book I found) is Quantum Mechanics, by Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Bernard Diu, and Franck Laloe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively pedagogical with lousy exercises. Jan. 6 1999
By A Customer
Don't be fooled by the informal style of this text. Griffiths has a bad habit of leaving many important results to the exercises, and he also briskly jumps over many difficult steps. He doesn't even provide a plausability argument for the Schroedinger equation (I know it's not necessary, but it wouldn't hurt to provide the steps how Schroedinger arrived at his famous equation).
His exercises are very lousy and have little effect in reinforcing the material. A much better book is <I>Principles of Quantum Mechanics</I> by Shankar or <I>Quantum Mechanics</I> by Cohen-Tannoudji.
In short, Griffiths' text has too many holes. (It's a shame this book is not in par with his excellent <I>Introduction to Electrodynamics</I>.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money March 10 2000
This text is much like Griffith's intro to electrodynamics. If you don't need to learn anything, and just want a simple answer to basic questions, buy this book. If, however, you are taking a class in quantum mechanics, don't waste your money. Griffith brings up interesting questions without ever answering them. He offers no assistance in solving the more demanding problems which would aid the learning process. If you're majoring in physics stay away from Griffith as a whole. Rholf is a much better publisher and writer. Check out his texts if you're serious about an education.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book of choice for my undergrad course March 18 2004
I've been using this book as the text for my undergraduate quantum course for several years. It is far superior to the books I used ~25 years ago when I first studied quantum as an undergrad.
Griffiths' strategy of using chapters1&2 to review probility and make student's comfortable with the mathematical machinery of QM, then reviewing Linear Algebra leading up to Hilbert spaces in Chapter 3, before starting anew with the postulates of QM makes a lot of pedagogical success. Typically, at least half my undergrad students need the math review. All of them have seen Shroedinger's Eq in a Modern Physics class that comes before QM, but without much motivation. I find Griffiths' motivation of the postulates far more intuitive than the more common "let's see what properties a QM wave equation-equivalent might have" approach. Other texts tend to give the axioms short shrift, but not Griffiths.
I'm an experimentalist, but I really groove with this book that presents more of a theorists approach. I do find I need to supplement my class lectures with illustrative examples to provide my students with balance, but it would be harder to add the theory into other books which have more examples, but gloss over the theory. This is a physicist's QM book. If you are an engineer or chemist who just wants to learn to do plug and chug problems, look elsewhere.
Several ace students (including a former student of mine) complain the book is not sufficiently advanced. If undergrads are ready for Sakurai, and have the sophistication for a higher level approach, all the more power to them! However, the goal of an *undergraduate* text is to prepare students for QM at the level of Sakurai. There is a reason that most undergrad courses don't use graduate texts.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A poorly organized introduction Feb. 1 2004
I had previously written a review of this text based upon my experiences with it first semester, dealing mostly with chapters 1-4. Upon further reading of the book and comparison to various other texts (the Baym, Sakurai and Shankar, specifically), I have decided that I need to rewrite my review.
First off, the good side: If you're interested in a wave mechanics approach to learning quantum mechanics, this book isn't horrible. You certainly learn a lot about solving differential equations, although you are never asked to solve any yourself. Also, the problems for the students to work range from the insanely trivial to the intriguingly difficult. Now for the bad part...
Well, the problem with those worked problems is that there is a lot of important stuff in the problems, and Griffiths assumes you have worked every single problem. This wouldn't be an issue, except most of the chapters have over 50 problems, and the odds that you did the right problem you need when he references that problem three chapters later is pretty slim.
Also, he does not introduce you to the Dirac notation or the linear algebra approach to quantum mechanics until the third chapter, after which he promptly discards that powerful tool in favor of the way he had been going, which is with wave mechanics. So he deprives the readers of knowledge of a remarkably useful language to discuss quantum mechanics.
He begins with the Schrodinger equation, without any motivation at all, and proceeds from there.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Mechanics For Dummies
I can't understand why Mr. Griffiths' undergraduate physics books are so popular. The low intellectual level of his writing can only discourage more advanced students, yet the... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Brian Copp
4.0 out of 5 stars A very readable introduction to QM
This book does what it was designed to do - introduce the reader to quantum mechanics by connecting familiar newtonian mechanics to the strange world of the quantum. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful book, but have a reference handy
I used this in my Intro to Quantum Class a few years ago and found while problems in the book were great at making you think about the material, the book lacked useful examples,... Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2003 by B. Jemella
5.0 out of 5 stars "Introductory"
If you are like many beginning chemistry/physics students and you feel intimidated by QM you will love this book. Read more
Published on May 20 2003 by Brig Young
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't make the cut.
Perhaps people not expecting too much from an introductory text would be satisfied by the treatment of quantum mechanics in this book, but for those who want a no-holds-barred,... Read more
Published on May 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introductory text for Quantum Mechanics
This is a great introduction to Quantum Mechanics with the right doses of math, physics and good prose. Read more
Published on April 29 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars dull as dishwater
What an uninspired, leaden, workmanlike book. Quantum by the numbers, turn the math handle and crank out the answers. Read more
Published on April 8 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Clear, but too elementary
One can reliably expect that a book writen by David Griffiths is clearly written. Unfortunately, he writes at too elementary a level, both in terms of physics and mathematics. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book to learn QM from
Let me begin by saying that it would be a mistake to learn from Griffiths, for the simple reason he sticks to the coordinate representation without exploiting the bra-ket... Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2002 by Assaf Tal
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, but not comprehensive
I used this book for a self-study of QM. While it jumps right into the material, it fails to give an intuitive basis for much of what it is covering. Read more
Published on July 21 2002
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