Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Hardcover – Aug 2 1994
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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>.)
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
cheaper than the second edition, but completely re-written chapter 3Published 9 months ago by Seo WOo
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 morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Brian Copp
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 morePublished on Dec 23 2003
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 morePublished on Nov. 20 2003 by B. Jemella
If you are like many beginning chemistry/physics students and you feel intimidated by QM you will love this book. Read morePublished on May 20 2003 by Brig Young
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 morePublished on May 5 2003
This is a great introduction to Quantum Mechanics with the right doses of math, physics and good prose. Read morePublished on April 29 2003
What an uninspired, leaden, workmanlike book. Quantum by the numbers, turn the math handle and crank out the answers. Read morePublished on April 8 2003
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 morePublished on Feb. 14 2003