PHY 6646 Quantum Mechanics 2
This is the second of two courses constituting the graduate core sequence in
The first course (PHY 6645 Quantum Mechanics 1) is taught in the fall
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PHY 6646 is designed for students who have already had at least one year of
quantum mechanics at the undergraduate level, and who have successfully
completed PHY 6645 or equivalent.
The main topics covered are approximation methods (variational and WKB methods,
perturbation theory), scattering theory, and many-particle systems.
All students taking the course will be expected to have access to Shankar.
The other three texts are recommended but not required.
Note that Ballentine's book is available online (see the UF Libraries'
Catalog at www.uflib.ufl.edu).
R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition, Plenum Press,
1994 (required text).
The course will generally follow the approach used in this book, which builds
up a quantum mechanical description of physical systems from a few simple
Many readers find Shankar to be a very helpful in learning the subject.
The main ideas are laid out clearly and logically. In places, however,
the text stops short of the level of rigor or detail appropriate for a
graduate course, so supplementary material will be presented in the lectures.
At these points the recommended texts below may prove particularly useful.
L. E. Ballentine, Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development, 2nd edition,
World Scientific Publishing, 1998 (recommended text).
Follows an axiomatic approach similar to Shankar's, but at a more rigorous
Contains many typographic errors, and is sketchy on some important topics,
but is the only one of the four texts to come to grips with such fundamental
issues as the physical interpretation of the wave function and the procedure
for quantizing classical systems (issues concerning which the author
vehemently expresses his opinions).
E. Merzbacher, Quantum Mechanics, 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1998
Most complete of the four texts, but also the most old-fashioned in its
style of presentation, and perhaps the least illuminating in it discussion.
Useful for filling in many details once the main ideas of quantum mechanics
have been understood.
J. J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics, revised edition, Addison-Wesley
Publishing, 1994 (recommended text).
A sophisticated graduate-level text, which omits elementary wave mechanics
but contains many modern topics.
The first few chapters are superb and full of insight, but the second half of
the book is uneven in quality.
For additional material on the goals and organization of the course,
see the syllabus.