Inspired by Richard Feynman and J.J. Sakurai, A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics allows lecturers to 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.
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This text introduces a modern approach to teaching quantum mechanics. It is for the junior-senior level student. The basic premise of the book is that students have already taken, probably in their sophomore year, and introductory course in modern physics that includes an introduction to quantum mechanics in the form of one-dimensional wave mechanics. Thus the text begins with a description of quantum theory without the conventional wave-function introduction. The approach advocated in this book involves introducing the subject as much as possible through examples such as a detailed discussion of the physics of intrinsic spin. The first five and a half chapters show the essential features of this approach. The remaining chapters build on that foundation. The inspiration for the approach comes from Volume III of "The Feyman Lectures on Physics" and an advanced exposition in Sakurai's "Modern Quantum Mechanics".Review:
Description: "Townsend is the best book I know for advanced undergraduate quantum mechanics. It is clear, contemporary, and compact. My students used it as a wonderful springboard to graduate school." Ralph D. Amado, University of Pennsylvania --Ralph D. Amado, University of Pennsylvania
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 --Richard Hazeltine, University of Texas, Austin
"This is an excellent book for a course on advanced undergraduate quantum mechanics. it is refreshing in its approach for both the student and teacher, and it leaves the student well-positioned to continue their training in advanced physics." Randy Hulet, Rice University --Randy Hulet, Rice University
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