Inspired by Richard Feynman and J.J. Sakurai, A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics lets professors expose their undergraduates to the excitement and insight of Feynman's approach to quantum mechanics while simultaneously giving them a textbook that is well-ordered, logical, and pedagogically sound. This book covers all the topics that are typically presented in a standard upper-level course in quantum mechanics, but its teaching approach is new: Rather than organizing his book according to the historical development of the field and jumping into a mathematical discussion of wave mechanics, Townsend begins his book with the quantum mechanics of spin. Thus, the first five chapters of the book succeed in laying out the fundamentals of quantum mechanics with little or no wave mechanics, so the physics is not obscured by mathematics. Starting with spin systems gives students something new and interesting while providing elegant but straightforward examples of the essential structure of quantum mechanics. When wave mechanics is introduced later, students perceive it correctly as only one aspect of quantum mechanics and not the core of the subject. Praised for its pedagogical brilliance, clear writing, and careful explanations, this book is destined to become a landmark text.
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John S. Townsend is a Professor of Physics at Harvey Mudd College.Review:
This is an excellent book for a course on advanced undergraduate quantum mechanics...refreshing in its approach. --Randy Hulet, Rice University
The best aspect of this book is its consistently sound pedagogy. The point is that Townsend is not showing off, not being fussy or pedantic. He has recognized a potential confusion and neatly headed it off. The book is full of such smart, sensitive teaching. --Richard Hazeltine, University of Texas, Austin
Townsend is the best book I know for advanced undergraduate quantum mechanics. --Ralph D. Amado, University of Pennsylvania
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