Quantum Mechanics Demystified / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
- Fun FORMAT makes this complex subject EASY to GRASP
- SOLUTIONS to typical problems are EXPLAINED in full DETAIL
- Perfect for SELF-STUDY or CLASS supplement
- Great for quick REVIEW or help PREPARE for the Physics Qualifying EXAM
LEARN QUANTUM MECHANICS AT WARP SPEED!
Now anyone can master the basics of quantum mechanics without formal training, unlimited time, or a genius IQ. In Quantum Mechanics Demystified, physicist (and student-savvy author) David McMahon provides an effective and illuminating way to learn the essentials of quantum mechanics.
With Quantum Mechanics Demystified, you master the subject one step at a time at your own speed. This unique self-teaching guide is filled with solved examples throughout, and offers problems to try at the end of each chapter to pinpoint weaknesses. A final exam serves to reinforce concepts covered in the entire book.
This fast and entertaining self-teaching course makes it much easier to
- Master serious quantum mechanics in easy-to-follow steps
- Cut through the jargon and learn how to do quantum mechanics using worked examples
- Reinforce learning and pinpoint weaknesses with questions at the end of each chapter and a comprehensive final exam
- Learn about Schrodinger's equation, one dimensional scattering, Hilbert space, and the density operator
- Find extensive explanations of spin and angular momentum, vector spaces, matrix mechanics, the harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom
- Perform better on qualifying or placement exams
- Take a "final exam" and grade it yourself!
Clear enough for beginners but challenging enough for those who already know something about advanced physics, Quantum Mechanics Demystified is the best self-teaching tool you can find!
About the Author
David McMahon (Albuquerque, NM) works as a researcher in the national labs on nuclear energy. He has advanced degrees in physics and applied mathematics and has written several titles for McGraw-Hill.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||Historical Review||1|
|Blackbody Radiation and Planck's Formula||1|
|The Photoelectric Effect||6|
|The Bohr Theory of the Atom||7|
|de Broglie's Hypothesis||10|
|Chapter 2||Basic Developments||13|
|The Schrodinger Equation||13|
|Solving the Schrodinger Equation||18|
|The Probability Interpretation and Normalization||24|
|Expansion of the Wavefunction and Finding Coefficients||35|
|The Phase of a Wavefunction||44|
|Operators in Quantum Mechanics||46|
|Momentum and the Uncertainty Principle||54|
|The Conservation of Probability||59|
|Chapter 3||The Time Independent Schrodinger Equation||65|
|The Free Particle||66|
|Bound States and 1-D Scattering||74|
|Chapter 4||An Introduction to State Space||99|
|Hilbert Space Definitions||100|
|Chapter 5||The Mathematical Structure of Quantum Mechanics I||111|
|Linear Vector Spaces||111|
|Expanding a Vector in Terms of a Basis||124|
|Orthonormal Sets and the Gram-Schmidt Procedure||124|
|Dirac Algebra with Bras and Kets||125|
|Finding the Expansion Coefficients in the Representation of Bras and Kets||127|
|Chapter 6||The Mathematical Structure of Quantum Mechanics II||131|
|The Representation of an Operator||133|
|Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors||142|
|The Hermitian Conjugate of an Operator||152|
|Chapter 7||The Mathematical Structure of Quantum Mechanics III||175|
|Change of Basis and Unitary Transformations||175|
|The Generalized Uncertainty Relation||185|
|Functions of Operators||193|
|Generalization to Continuous Spaces||194|
|Chapter 8||The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics||205|
|The Postulates of Quantum Mechanics||205|
|The Completeness Relation||212|
|Completely Specifying a State with a CSCO||220|
|The Heisenberg versus Schrodinger Pictures||221|
|Describing Composite Systems in Quantum Mechanics||222|
|The Matrix Representation of a Tensor Product||223|
|The Tensor Product of State Vectors||224|
|The Density Operator||226|
|The Density Operator for a Completely Mixed State||229|
|A Brief Introduction to the Bloch Vector||237|
|Chapter 9||The Harmonic Oscillator||241|
|The Solution of the Harmonic Oscillator in the Position Representation||241|
|The Operator Method for the Harmonic Oscillator||250|
|Number States of the Harmonic Oscillator||253|
|More on the Action of the Raising and Lowering Operators||256|
|Chapter 10||Angular Momentum||259|
|The Commutation Relations of Angular Momentum||260|
|The Uncertainty Relations for Angular Momentum||262|
|Generalized Angular Momentum and the Ladder Operators||262|
|Matrix Representations of Angular Momentum||272|
|Coordinate Representation of Orbital Angular Momentum and the Spherical Harmonics||283|
|Chapter 11||Spin-1/2 Systems||295|
|The Stern-Gerlach Experiment||296|
|The Basis States for Spin-1/2 Systems||298|
|Using the Ladder Operators to Construct S[subscript x], S[subscript y]||300|
|Unitary Transformations for Spin-1/2 Systems||308|
|The Outer Product Representation of the Spin Operators||310|
|The Pauli Matrices||312|
|The Time Evolution of Spin-1/2 States||317|
|The Density Operator for Spin-1/2 Systems||328|
|Chapter 12||Quantum Mechanics in Three Dimensions||331|
|The 2-D Square Well||332|
|An Overview of a Particle in a Central Potential||341|
|An Overview of the Hydrogen Atom||342|
|Answers to Quiz and Exam Questions||363|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Quantum Mechanics Demystified is not the first quantum physics book I have read, but is the best by far. The numerous worked out examples and quizzes at the end of each section are very useful to make sure that you not only understand the formulas, but also can apply them to problems. The author's explainations of the formulas were outstanding. I particularly liked the first chapter of this book because it gave so much clarity and interesting information on topics like Bohr's theory of the atom. The only thing negative in this book were the many minor errors, such as adding negative signs or changing a differential sign to the reduced Planck's constant. Overall, the errors did not hurt this book, and I highly recommended it to anyone wanting to konw something about quantum mechanics.
I have to agree with the first reviewer...the errors are disconcerting. The author appears to be unable to even distribute terms properly. The current student may find this a helpful supplement if they are wary of the mistakes, however, there is VERY LITTLE in the way of theoretical explanation. There is little more than cookbook calculation style exercises. If you are interested in looking more deeply into quantum mechanics, this is not the book for you.
Unfortunately, I did not find this book sooner. The examples alone make quantum mechanics doable. If you do not have a professor who knows what he or she is doing and or a textbook that isn¿t very clear, buy this book. A great supplement to the first four chapters of Griffiths' Intro. to Quantum Mechanics.
While nobody would argue that Quantum Mechanics is an ideal subject for a "Dummy's Guide", this book is a good first attempt. Where it falls down is trying to be all things for all people - a friendly, easy-to-read introductory text (it isn't) and a Primer for Hilbert-Space notation (it does a fairly good job), and a review for old-timers wanting to brush up. Let us take these in order. While the language is fairly easy to grasp, the transition to esoteric subject matter without a solid grounding within the first few pages is off-putting; few readers will have the persistence to endure until the real meat-and-potatoes kick in. For example, the Rayleigh-Jeans formula is presented as an accomplished fact - yet in other introductory texts I've seen the same subject matter discussed on an intuitive level, based upon everyday phenomenon. Even Einstein provided an intuitive primer to his introduction to Special Relativity. By the time the reader achieves Chapter 4, most of the heavy-lifting is accomplished and much of what remains deals with Dirac functions, bra and ket Hamiltonian operators, and the various useful notational devices. Most of the rest of the book deals with expansions of the rudimentary concepts in earlier material into higher dimensions, more variables, superposition methods, and like subjects. As a light-weight review of the subject material for those already in the know, this will suffice [even if key derivations are glossed over]. I particularly enjoyed the Hilbert-Space discussion, although again this was reduced to an exercise in calculus rather than an attempt to render the subject transparent and intuitive. For those who want a beefy, man-sized chunk of hairy-chested quantum mechanics literature, this isn't it - I much prefer the two-volume Cohen-Tannoudji-Diu and Laloe references. While it is not uncommon to include spin-states and Pauli matrix methods in Quantum Mechanics-related subject matter, I've always felt that this is slightly outside the abstract foundations of the subject; i.e; it isn't based upon "pure" math. Anything that is derived from observational research is going to be eventually subject to change and reinterpretation - including it (as was done here) in introductory material automatically renders the text "datable". In general, I would have recommended steering clear of the rigors of physics per-se, and sticking to the mathematical abstraction at its core. Other authors have already done an excellent job of dealing with the minutiae of the physics-derived material. That said, anyone who is already well versed in second-level college math and who already has a solid background in physics will find the book a good read. On that basis I can recommend it.
The 'Demystified' series is very helpful. McMahon's books are good introductions. One wonder sometimes though if the numerous errors, particularly in this one, are a concerted effort to make the reader extremely attentive. It is a contradiction that the author claims to help us 'do quantum mechanics' but puts so many errors on the way. Surprised that a publisher like McGraw Hill allows such sloppy editing.
In order to understand Quantum Mechanics, you have to understand the layers of math, McMahon shows you mathematics,some theoretical arguments, and the Calculus in a nice easy fashion so you can get into the subject. After the book, I had been demystified on the subject and could pursue other books.
As Quantum Mechanics is not exactly for the novice, This book WON'T have you wielding cold fusion in your basement, you wont make that anti-matter rocket you've been dreaming of... But, If you ARE familiar with Calculus, Trigonometry, Algebra, Physics, and Advanced physics (all through demystified) and have internet, library support- it can be a GOOD INTRODUCTION to quantum mechanics and you can START your antimatter projects around the house a little sooner... yes, your secrets out and you are on the list when you start buying these books!!!
Typos and errors at a rate of one per one or two pages. A student of the subject deserves better. It's amazing that McGraw-Hill allowed this book to go to print.
As unintuitive as Quantum Mechanics may be, this book is really successful at helping one feel comfortable with the fundamental ideas. My intimidation with the subject collapsed quickly after starting it. I consider it essential for the student struggling through undergraduate Quantum Mechanics.