Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

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by Leonard Susskind, Art Friedman
     
 

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First he taught you classical mechanics. Now, physicist Leonard Susskind has teamed up with data engineer Art Friedman to present the theory and associated mathematics of the strange world of quantum mechanics.

In this follow-up to the New York Times best-selling The Theoretical Minimum, Susskind and Friedman provide a lively introduction to this famously

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Overview

First he taught you classical mechanics. Now, physicist Leonard Susskind has teamed up with data engineer Art Friedman to present the theory and associated mathematics of the strange world of quantum mechanics.

In this follow-up to the New York Times best-selling The Theoretical Minimum, Susskind and Friedman provide a lively introduction to this famously difficult field, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Unlike other popularizations that shy away from quantum mechanics’ weirdness, Quantum Mechanics embraces the utter strangeness of quantum logic. The authors offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement, and particle and wave states, among other topics, and each chapter includes exercises to ensure mastery of each area. Like The Theoretical Minimum, this volume runs parallel to Susskind’s eponymous Stanford University-hosted continuing education course.

An approachable yet rigorous introduction to a famously difficult topic, Quantum Mechanics provides a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/06/2014
Considered volume II in Susskind’s “Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics” series (volume I covered classical mechanics), the authors offer highly motivated readers an introduction to the advanced mathematics needed to study quantum mechanics. As Susskind, a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford, and Friedman, a student of his physics lectures, explain, quantum mechanics requires us to rewire “our intuitions with abstract mathematics.” The book presents some basic quantum mechanical concepts, like spin and qubits, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, entanglement, wave functions, and Schrödinger’s Equation, but most of the text focuses on mathematics, from Boolean logic and statistics to vectors, matrices, and path integrals. The authors mean for this book to be “fully accessible to mathematically literate nonphysicists,” and it’s clear that those without a college-level grounding in math will find it difficult going. As it stands, the book will work well as a companion text for university students studying quantum mechanics or the armchair physicists following Susskind’s YouTube lectures. B&w illus. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman, Inc. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

“The writing is fresh and immediate, with plenty of detail packaged into the smooth narrative.... [O]n their own terms, I found Susskind and Friedman’s explanations crisp and satisfying.... I maintain a clear recollection of the bewilderment with which I struggled through my own university quantum-mechanics courses. For students in a similar position, trying to draw together the fragments of formalism into a clear conceptual whole, Susskind and Friedman’s persuasive overview—and their insistence on explaining, with sharp mathematical detail, exactly what it is that is strange about quantum mechanics—may be just what is needed.”
—David Seery, Nature

“[T]he book will work well as a companion text for university students studying quantum mechanics or the armchair physicists following Susskind’s YouTube lectures.”
Publishers Weekly

“This is quantum mechanics for real. This is the good stuff, the most mysterious aspects of how reality works, set out with crystalline clarity. If you want to know how physicists really think about the world, this book is the place to start.”
—Sean Carroll, physicist, California Institute of Technology, and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe

“Susskind does a wonderful job of carefully going through in great detail the story of the simplest quantum system. As advertised, it's the theoretical minimum, but a great place for someone to start on the road to a serious understanding of the mysteries of quantum physics.”
—Peter Woit, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, and author of Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465036677
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
02/25/2014
Series:
The Theoretical Minimum
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
506,121
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author


Leonard Susskind has been the Felix Bloch Professor in Theoretical Physics at Stanford University since 1978. He is the author (with George Hrabovsky) of The Theoretical Minimum, as well as The Black Hole War and The Cosmic Landscape. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

Art Friedman is a data consultant who previously spent fifteen years at Hewlett-Packard as a software engineer. A lifelong student of physics, he lives in Mountain View, California.

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