Modern Quantum Mechanics

J.J. Sakurai

A comprehensive and captivating post-graduate text on non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Assumes prior knowledge of quantum mechanics basics at the undergraduate level. Requires familiarity with classical electromagnetism, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, as well as a strong foundation in linear algebra, vector calculus, and vector spaces.

The book is dense and technical, but the explanations are clear, interesting, and supported by experimental results. Intuition is provided when relevant. Gaps in derivations enhance understanding. The exercises are pedagogically appropriate and at the right difficulty level. However, this book requires focus, time, and close reading to complete the missing derivation steps.

The chapters on linear algebra, Dirac notation, theory of angular momentum, and Feynman path integrals are exceptional. The author delves deep into these subjects with elegance. The “Heisenberg picture” and Ehrenfest theorem are brilliantly derived. The treatment of spin precession and symmetries is also noteworthy.

The only drawback is the excessive focus on perturbation theories. Additionally, some notational choices are unconventional and not very helpful.

Overall, this demanding but rewarding book is highly recommended, serving as a valuable reference text as well.