Understanding Quantum Physics: A User's Manual, Vol. 1 / Edition 1

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Written in an informal yet substantive style that is a joy to read, this book provides a uniquely engaging, in-depth introduction to the concepts of quantum physics and their practical implementation, and is filled with clear, thorough explanations that help readers develop insight into physical ideas and master techniques of problem-solving using quantum mechanics. Fully explores the concepts and strategies of quantum mechanics, showing the connections among the physical concepts that govern the atomic and sub-atomic domain of matter, and examining how these concepts manifest themselves in the mathematical machinery of quantum mechanics. Focuses on the explanations and motivations of the postulates that underlie the machinery of quantum mechanics, and applies simple, single-particle systems in one dimension. Illuminates discussions of ideas and techniques with a multitude of examples that show not just the answers but also the reasoning behind them, and adds dimension to the subject with historical, biographical and philosophical references throughout. Designed for a wide range of readers interested in various branches of physics and engineering physics.

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Editorial Reviews

This textbook provides an in-depth introduction to the concepts of quantum physics and their practical implementation, as well as several dollops of history, biography, and philosophy in support of the theme that quantum physics, beyond a collection of abstract laws and equations, is a paradigm of reality at its most fundamental level. It assumes a solid foundation in freshman and sophomore physics, a solid working knowledge of calculus and algebra, and at least a passing acquaintance with the physics of waves. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137479085
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 5/4/1990
  • Series: Understanding Quantum Physics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Table of Contents

(NOTE: All chapters conclude with Final Thoughts, and Exercises and Problems; most also include Annotated Selected Readings.)


1. Introductory: Why Quantum Physics?

2. Into the Microworld: Duality and the Double Slit.


3. First Postulates: The State Function and Its Interpretation.

4. An Illustrative Interlude: Wave Packets in One Dimension.

5. Observables in Quantum Physics: A Pragmatist's Approach.

6. A Quantum Equation of Motion: The Schrödinger Equation At Last.

7. Simplifying Matters: The Time-Independent Schrödinger Equation.


8. States of a Particle in One Dimension I: Mainly Piecewise-Constant Potentials.

9. States of a Particle in One Dimension II: Mainly Continuous Potentials.


10. Operators in Quantum Mechanics I: The Importance of Being Hermitian.

11. Operators in Quantum Mechanics II: To Commute or Not to Commute.

12. Eigenfunction Expansions: How to Solve Any Problem in Quantum Mechanics.

13. Altered States: The Great Measurement Mystery.


A. SI Units (The International System of Units. B. Fundamental Constants in SI (and CGS) Units. C. Order-of-Magnitude Estimates. D. Conversion Tables. E. Prefix Dictionary. F. A User's Guide to Atomic Units. G. The Greek Alphabet. H. Handy Trigonometric identities. I. Integrals You Should Know. J. Integrals Involving the Gaussian Function. K. Review of Complex Numbers. L. The Dirac Delta Function.



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