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Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition [Hardcover]

Eugen Merzbacher
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Quantum Mechanics Quantum Mechanics 3.6 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1969 0471596701 978-0471596707 2nd Revised edition
Provides a systematic and orderly development of the whole of quantum mechanics in terms of its applications to atomic, nuclear, particle, and solid state physics.

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Provides a systematic and orderly development of the whole of quantum mechanics in terms of its applications to atomic, nuclear, particle, and solid state physics.

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1. Quantum Theory and the Wave Nature of Matter. Matter at the atomic and nuclear or microscopic level reveals the existence of a variety of particles which are identifiable by their distinct properties, such as mass, charge, spin, and magnetic moment. Read the first page
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3.0 out of 5 stars modern Oct. 30 2000
Merzbacher is one of the `classic' learning books on quantum mechanics. It is commonly grouped together with Messiah, Schiff and Davydov. Unlike most of the other classics however, Merzbacher has moved with the times and managed to keep up with current trends in quantum mechanics.
When I originally flipped through this book I was impressed by the wealth of the content and the large number of interesting exercises that applied the fundamentals to the basic principles of various fields of research (quantum optics and quantum information for example). I then resolved to work through all of the problems and exercises. After having completed this book I am less impressed than I hoped I would be.
The problems in this book are divided into two classes, the first being exercises interspersed throughout the text, the second being problems at the end of each chapter. None of the exercises in the text are difficult but they tend to disrupt the flow of the book as they (especially towards the end of the book) are of the form: `now you have seen the most trivial case, verify this formula for the cases n=5,6,7 which will involve you inverting 27 4x4 matrices' (I exaggerate slightly). I am a little irritated by this as it requires the reader to switch into autopilot and wade through pages of algebra to get a result you knew you would get anyway. The problems at the end of each chapter range from the ultimately trivial to applications to some research topics (but still fairly straightforward).
The style of the presentation of the subject matter is a little quirky and idiosyncratic in places. This book is in its 3rd edition and it is easy to pick additions in this edition. The typo density increases in these chapters/sections and the text just skims the derivations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a good text I have to admit June 23 2003
By ncr
This text deals with the theory behind quantum mechanics and also shows how the theory applies to contemporary physics. In addition to incorporating suggested improvements from many users, this edition is thoroughly updated - not only in terms of physics research but also in terms of how quantum mechanics is taught today. The book provides a unified approach to quantum dynamics giving students a broad perspective, and showing the derivations of various pictures and representations of quantum dynamics without losing sight of the overarching common features of the theory. This graduated approach introduces matrix methods and symmetry arguments at an elementary level, before the systematic study of the abstract theory of vector spaces and operators. Theory is emphasized in three stages - explicit elementary examples, essential concepts for the interpretation of experiments in subatomic physics, and general abstract formulation in terms of integral equations and scattering operators
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2.0 out of 5 stars This book is unreadable Oct. 10 2001
I was lucky to have other books and a great instructor in Quantum Mechanics, otherwise I wouldn't have learned the subject at all. The language of this book is very dry and abstract at the same time, leaving the reader without an idea of what it all has to do with the real life. The approach to teaching is by no means classical and lacks examples. Another thing that I didn't like (and that unfortunately occurs so often in scientific literature) is the way references were handled: the author would send you 10 chapters back to substitute formulas 178 and 186 into another one 5 chapters back to get a result on the current page, whereas in good books relevant formulas would just be re-typed once again for reader's convenience.
Having said all that, I also need to say that the author did a good job picking the problems for this text. They are of moderate difficulty and well related to the discussion in a preceding chapter.
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I cannot let the posted reviews go unanswered. I have taught from the various editions of Merzbacher for many years (since I was a graduate TA for a QM course) and have always had good results with it. It is not, however, an undergraduate text at most institutions. And any student advanced enough to be in a course where Merzbacher is appropriately used knows that graduate physics textbooks are not intended to be problem solving manuals. At this stage of one's development, one knows how to convert the principles learned from lecture and study into appropriate problem solving strategies. My principal complaint is the price; I cannot ask my students to pay $100 for a textbook, even in 1999. More's the pity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clearly written, traditional approach to QM Jan. 1 2000
By A Customer
Having had this text recommended for my graduate quantum class, but not taught from (instead taught out of the execrable book by J.J. Sakurai), I think that Merzbacher has written a very readable and very thorough book. Clearly, it is not a book aimed at undergraduates, but it is very elegantly written and uses the approach mirrored in Gasiorowicz and others, building the subject up with ordinary calculus and slowly bringing in matrix algebra. For a more modern treatment, and one very well written for the motivated self-studier, try Shankar's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics".
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