"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
"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
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.
An Instructor's Solutions Manual for adopting professors is available from the publisher.
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 has served as the chair of the physics department for two decades. He loves teaching physics, especially quantum physics. He has been a visiting professor at Caltech, the University of Southampton in England, Duke University and Swarthmore College. In addition, he was a Science Fellow at the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University.