K. Sreeman Reddy

Quantum mechanics textbooks review

There are many Quantum mechanics (QM) textbooks, here I will review some of them.
Best introductory books
Best compact book
Best advanced books
Historically influential books
Honourable mentions

Best introductory books

1) Zettili, Nouredine (2009). Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications (2nd ed.). Chichester, UK: Wiley. ISBN 978-0470026793.

This is a very good book and is easily understandable. It has nice notations and is very formal. The author likes to write every statement as general as possible (which is usually seen in advanced comprehensive books but not in introductory books). It looks like (based on seeing Stack Exchange recommendations) this book is gaining popularity as an alternative to Griffiths book for UGs. Like Griffiths, it contains a lot of exercises in it and many solved problems.

2) Griffiths, David; Schroeter, Darrell (2018). Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

The most popular introductory QM textbook. Good for intuitive understanding for beginners. You probably already know about this book, so I am not going to discuss much about this.

3) Shankar, Ramamurti (2011). Principles of Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed.). Plenum Press. ISBN 978-0306447907.

This book is fairly rigorous but still feels like a very intuitive pedagogical approach. It is written for grad students unlike the above 2, but it still is very readable for UGs.

4) Sakurai, J. J.; Napolitano, Jim (2017). Modern Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-42241-3.

This book is at a similar level to Shankar. But is somewhat smaller, so the explanations are somewhat shorter. It still is a very good book.

Note: The last 2 books also discuss introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics.

Best compact book

1) Weinberg, Steven (2015). Lectures on quantum mechanics (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press

Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg managed to write a book which is shorter than all the above books (≈ 400 pages) but still is more comprehensive and complete than all the above books. Needless to say, this book is not good for first time introductory reading. Weinberg writes many things as obvious but they won’t be that obvious for us. I read somewhere that the chapter 11 THE QUANTUM THEORY OF RADIATION in this book is very good to read before going to Quantum Field Theory. This book is very similar in style to Weinberg’s 3 volume set “The Quantum Theory of Fields”.

Best advanced books

1) Ballentine, Leslie (1998). Quantum Mechanics A Modern Development. World Scientific.

This is a rigorous book. For example, it has a discussion on Rigged Hilbert Space in the 1st chapter which all the above books have not discussed.

2) Konishi, Kenichi; Paffuti, Giampiero (2009). Quantum Mechanics A New Introduction. Oxford University Press.

It is more complete than Ballentine but less rigorous.

3) Moretti, Valter(2017). Spectral Theory and Quantum Mechanics: Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Theories, Symmetries and Introduction to the Algebraic Formulation(2nd ed.). Springer.

This is a very rigorous book. If you like to read about axiomatic approach to QM you should read this book.

4) Schiff, Leonard (1968). Quantum Mechanics(3rd ed.). World Scientific.

This book is now somewhat outdated. Of course, QM hasn’t changed much but the way it is taught did change. It is still not a bad book.

5) Messiah, Albert (1958). QUANTUM MECHANICS TWO VOLUMES BOUND AS ONE. World Scientific.

This book is very very long. Outdated similar to Schiff.

Historically influential books

1) Dirac, Paul (1930). The Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press.

Wikipedia page

2) Neumann, Jon Von(1932). Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Princeton University Press.

Wikipedia page

Honourable mentions

1) Gottfried,Kurt;Yan,Tung-Mow (2003).Quantum Mechanics: Fundamentals (2nd ed.). Spriger.

2) Pade,Jochen (2018). Quantum Mechanics for Pedestrians vol 1 & 2. Spriger.

3) Liboff,Richard (2002). Introductory Quantum Mechanics (4th ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-8053-8714-5.

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