
PHY 6646 Quantum Mechanics 2
Spring 2003
This is the second of two courses constituting the graduate core sequence in
quantum mechanics.
The first course (PHY 6645 Quantum Mechanics 1) is taught in the fall
semester.
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Spring 2002.
Overview
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 manyparticle systems.
Textbooks
All students taking the course will be expected to have access to Shankar.
The other three texts are recommended but not required.
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 quantum mechanics from a few basic postulates.
Many readers find this to be a very useful tool for learning the subject.
The main ideas are laid out clearly and logically. In places, however,
Shankar 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
level.
Contains many typographic errors, but the only one of the three texts to
really address such fundamental issues as the physical interpretation of the
wave function and the procedure for quantizing classical systems.


E. Merzbacher, Quantum Mechanics, 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1998
(recommended text).


More complete than Shankar, but less well organized and less clearly written.
Useful for filling in many details once the main ideas of quantum mechanics
have been understood.


J. J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics, revised edition, AddisonWesley
Publishing, 1994 (recommended text).


A sophisticated graduatelevel 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.

