A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics

A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics

By: John S. Townsend

Publication date: July 2012
ISBN: 9781891389788
Subject: Physics

This book lays out the foundations of quantum mechanics through the physics of intrinsic spin, and is written to serve as the primary textbook for an upper-division course in quantum mechanics.

For all sales outside of the United States, please contact Felicity Henson, fhenson@aip.org

Title information

Using an innovative approach that students find both accessible and exciting, A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition lays out the foundations of quantum mechanics through the physics of intrinsic spin. Written to serve as the primary textbook for an upper-division course in quantum mechanics, Townsend’s text gives professors and students a refreshing alternative to the old style of teaching, by allowing the basic physics of spin systems to drive the introduction of concepts such as Dirac notation, operators, eigenstates and eigenvalues, time evolution in quantum mechanics, and entanglement.. Chapters 6 through 10 cover the more traditional subjects in wave mechanics—the Schrödinger equation in position space, the harmonic oscillator, orbital angular momentum, and central potentials—but they are motivated by the foundations developed in the earlier chapters. Students using this text will perceive wave mechanics as an important aspect of quantum mechanics, but not necessarily the core of the subject. Subsequent chapters are devoted to perturbation theory, identical particles, scattering, and the interaction of atoms with radiation, and an optional chapter on path integrals is also included. This new edition has been revised throughout to include many more worked examples and end-of-chapter problems, further enabling students to gain a complete mastery of quantum mechanics. It also includes new sections on quantum teleportation, the density operator, coherent states, and cavity quantum electrodynamics.


A detailed Instructors’ Manual is available for adopting professors.
Art from the book may be downloaded by adopting professors.

Pages: 592
Language: English
Publisher: University Science Books
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CHAPTER 1 Stern–Gerlach Experiments
CHAPTER 2 Rotation of Basis States and Matrix Mechanics 
CHAPTER 3 Angular Momentum
CHAPTER 4 Time Evolution
CHAPTER 5 A System of Two Spin-1/2 Particles 
CHAPTER 6 Wave Mechanics in One Dimension
CHAPTER 7 The One-Dimensional Harmonic Oscillator 
CHAPTER 8 Path Integrals
CHAPTER 9 Translational and Rotational Symmetry in the Two-Body Problem
CHAPTER 10 Bound States of Central Potentials
CHAPTER 11 Time-Independent Perturbations
CHAPTER 12 Identical Particles
CHAPTER 13 Scattering
CHAPTER 14 Photons and Atoms
Appendix A Electromagnetic Units
Appendix B The Addition of Angular Momenta
Appendix C Dirac Delta Functions
Appendix D Gaussian Integrals
Appendix E The Lagrangian for a Charge in a Magnetic Field
Appendix F Values of Physical Constants
Appendix G Answers to Selected Problems

Townsend’s textbook is far superior to its competitors in both content and notation. I am impressed by the way Townsend introduces the subject matter. It is a piece of art! Teaching is some sort of art, either you have or you don’t, and Townsend has it!

-Abdelkrim Boukahil, University of Wisconsin

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

With this second edition, Townsend has succeeded in making a clear and pedagogical textbook on undergraduate quantum mechanics even better.

-Charles Gale, McGill University

The 2nd edition of Townsend’s book has added some very nice new features. New sections on contemporary topics and newly added worked examples have further increased my satisfaction with the book.

-Randall Feenstra, Carnegie Mellon University

John S. Townsend

John S. Townsend is the Susan and Bruce Worster Professor of Physics at Harvey Mudd College, the science and engineering college of the Claremont Colleges. He received his B.S. from Duke University, his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He has been a visiting professor at Caltech, the University of Southampton in England, Duke University and Swarthmore College, and he was a Science Fellow at the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University. He loves teaching. Townsend is also the author of Quantum Physics: A Fundamental Approach to Modern Physics.