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The Best Books to Learn About Quantum Physics

October 11, 2016

“What are the best books about Quantum Physics / Quantum Mechanics / Quantum Theory?” We looked at 13 different lists and found 105 of the best books to answer any of your quantum questions.

“Quantum Physics/Theory/Mechanics” are used interchangeably in this article because that is how they are used in the articles we consulted. When you search for one of the terms on Google the other two will also appear. There is probably a super detailed explanation on the difference between the three, but since Google considers them interchangeable, we are going to as well, so consider this list a mashup of all three.

Happy Scrolling!

 



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The Best Books to Learn About Quantum Mechanics

#1-19



19.) An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Michael E. Peskin, Dan V. Schroeder

an-introduction-to-quantum-field-theory-frontiers-in-physics-by-michael-e-peskin-daniel-v-schroeder
Lists It Appears On:

    • Flip Tomato
    • Geometry

An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory is a textbook intended for the graduate physics course covering relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, and Feynman diagrams. The authors make these subjects accessible through carefully worked examples illustrating the technical aspects of the subject, and intuitive explanations of what is going on behind the mathematics. After presenting the basics of quantum electrodynamics, the authors discuss the theory of renormalization and its relation to statistical mechanics, and introduce the renormalization group. This discussion sets the stage for a discussion of the physical principles that underlie the fundamental interactions of elementary particle physics and their description by gauge field theories.

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18.) How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog by Chad Orzel

how-to-teach-quantum-physics-to-your-dog-by-chad-orzel
Lists It Appears On:

    • The Guardian
    • Omni

When physics professor Chad Orzel went to the pound to adopt a dog, he never imagined Emmy. She wasn’t just a friendly mutt who needed a home. Soon she was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: chasing critters, getting treats, and going for walks. She peppered Chad with questions: Could she use quantum tunneling to get through the neighbor’s fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? Where are all the universes in which Chad drops steak on the floor?

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17.) Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science’s Most Puzzling Discovery by J.P. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate

introducing-quantum-theory-a-graphic-guide-introducing-by-j-p-mcevoy-oscar-zarate
Lists It Appears On:

    • Geometry
    • Omni

Quantum theory is one of science’s most thrilling, challenging and even mysterious areas. Scientists such as Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrödinger uncovered bizarre paradoxes in the early 20th century that seemed to destroy the fundamental assumptions of ‘classical physics’ – the basic laws we are taught in school. Notoriously difficult, quantum theory is nonetheless an amazing and inspiring intellectual adventure, explained here with patience, wit and clarity.

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16.) Lectures on Quantum Field Theory by Dirac

lectures-on-quantum-mechanics-and-relativistic-field-theory-by-p-a-m-dirac
Lists It Appears On:

    • Math
    • Math

Dirac founded quantum field theory with his reinterpretation of the Dirac equation as a many-body equation, which predicted the existence of antimatter and matter-antimatter annihilation. He was the first to formulate quantum electrodynamics, although he could not calculate arbitrary quantities because the short distance limit requires renormalization. Dirac discovered the magnetic monopole solutions, the first topological configuration in physics, and used them to give the modern explanation of charge quantization. He developed constrained quantization in the 1960s, identifying the general quantum rules for arbitrary classical systems. These lectures were given delivered and published during his tenure at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study in the 1930’s.

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15.) QED: The strange theory of light and matter by Richard Feynman

qed-the-strange-theory-of-light-and-matter-by-richard-feynman
Lists It Appears On:

    • Forbes
    • Math

Celebrated for his brilliantly quirky insights into the physical world, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the general public. Here Feynman provides a classic and definitive introduction to QED (namely, quantum electrodynamics), that part of quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles. Using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned “Feynman diagrams” instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman clearly and humorously communicates both the substance and spirit of QED to the layperson. A. Zee’s introduction places Feynman’s book and his seminal contribution to QED in historical context and further highlights Feynman’s uniquely appealing and illuminating style.

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14.) Quantum Field Theory by Claude Itzykson and Jean-Bernard Zuber

quantum-field-theory-by-claude-itzykson-jean-bernard-zuber
Lists It Appears On:

    • Geometry
    • Math

This two-part approach begins with the standard quantization of electrodynamics, culminating in the perturbative renormalization. The second part comprises functional methods, relativistic bound states, broken symmetries, nonabelian gauge fields, and asymptotic behavior. Appropriate for students and researchers in field theory, particle physics, and related areas, this treatment presupposes a background in quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and relativity, and it assumes some familiarity with classical calculus, including group theory and complex analysis.

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13.) Quantum Field Theory by Lewis H. Ryder

quantum-field-theory-by-lewis-h-ryder
Lists It Appears On:

    • Math
    • Flip Tomato

This book is a modern introduction to the ideas and techniques of quantum field theory. After a brief overview of particle physics and a survey of relativistic wave equations and Lagrangian methods, the author develops the quantum theory of scalar and spinor fields, and then of gauge fields. The emphasis throughout is on functional methods, which have played a large part in modern field theory. The book concludes with a brief survey of “topological” objects in field theory and, new to this edition, a chapter devoted to supersymmetry. Graduate students in particle physics and high energy physics will benefit from this book.

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12.) Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell by A. Zee

quantum-field-theory-in-a-nutshell-by-a-zee
Lists It Appears On:

    • Flip Tomato
    • Geometry

Since it was first published, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell has quickly established itself as the most accessible and comprehensive introduction to this profound and deeply fascinating area of theoretical physics. Now in this fully revised and expanded edition, A. Zee covers the latest advances while providing a solid conceptual foundation for students to build on, making this the most up-to-date and modern textbook on quantum field theory available.

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11.) Quantum Mechanics by Albert Messiah

quantum-mechanics-by-albert-messiah
Lists It Appears On:

    • Less Wrong
    • Math

“Strongly recommended” by the American Journal of Physics, this volume serves as a text for advanced undergraduates and graduate students of physics as well as a reference for professionals. Clear in its presentation and scrupulous in its attention to detail, the treatment originally appeared in a two-volume French edition. This convenient single-volume translation begins with formalism and its interpretation, starting with the origins of quantum theory and examinations of matter waves and the Schrödinger equation, one-dimensional quantized systems, the uncertainty relations, and the mathematical framework and physical content of formalism.

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10.) Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman

quantum-mechanics-the-theoretical-minimum-theoretical-minimum-by-leonard-susskind-art-friedman
Lists It Appears On:

    • About
    • Forbes

In this follow-up to the New York Times best-selling The Theoretical Minimum, Susskind and Friedman provide a lively introduction to this famously difficult field, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Unlike other popularizations that shy away from quantum mechanics’ weirdness, Quantum Mechanics embraces the utter strangeness of quantum logic. The authors offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement, and particle and wave states, among other topics, and each chapter includes exercises to ensure mastery of each area. Like The Theoretical Minimum, this volume runs parallel to Susskind’s eponymous Stanford University-hosted continuing education course.

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9.) Quantum Physics by Alastair Rae

quantum-physics-a-beginners-guide-by-alastair-i-m-rae
Lists It Appears On:

    • Five Books
    • Omni

From quarks to computing, this fascinating introduction covers every element of the quantum world in clear and accessible language. Drawing on a wealth of expertise to explain just what a fascinating field quantum physics is, Rae points out that it is not simply a maze of technical jargon and philosophical ideas, but a reality which affects our daily lives.

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8.) The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics was Reborn by Louisa Gilder 

the-age-of-entanglement-when-quantum-physics-was-reborn-by-louisa-gilder
Lists It Appears On:

    • Forbes
    • The Guardian

In The Age of Entanglement, Louisa Gilder brings to life one of the pivotal debates in twentieth century physics. In 1935, Albert Einstein famously showed that, according to the quantum theory, separated particles could act as if intimately connected–a phenomenon which he derisively described as “spooky action at a distance.” In that same year, Erwin Schrödinger christened this correlation “entanglement.” Yet its existence was mostly ignored until 1964, when the Irish physicist John Bell demonstrated just how strange this entanglement really was. Drawing on the papers, letters, and memoirs of the twentieth century’s greatest physicists, Gilder both humanizes and dramatizes the story by employing the scientists’ own words in imagined face-to-face dialogues. The result is a richly illuminating exploration of one of the most exciting concepts of quantum physics.

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7.) The Ghost in the Atom: A Discussion of the Mysteries of Quantum Physics by P. C. W. Davies and Julian R. Brown

the-ghost-in-the-atom-a-discussion-of-the-mysteries-of-quantum-physics-by-paul-davies
Lists It Appears On:

    • Five Books
    • The Guardian

Anybody who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. Niels Bohr’s dictum bears witness to the bewildering impact of quantum theory, flying in the face of classical physics and dramatically transforming scientists’ outlook on our relationship with the material world. In this book Paul Davies interviews eight physicists involved in debating and testing the theory, with radically different views of its significance.

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6.) The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 1: Foundations by Steven Weinberg

the-quantum-theory-of-fields-volume-i-foundations-by-steven-weinberg
Lists It Appears On:

    • Flip Tomato
    • Geometry

In The Quantum Theory of Fields, Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg combines his exceptional physical insight with his gift for clear exposition to provide a self-contained, comprehensive, and up-to-date introduction to quantum field theory. This is a two-volume work. Volume I introduces the foundations of quantum field theory. The development is fresh and logical throughout, with each step carefully motivated by what has gone before, and emphasizing the reasons why such a theory should describe nature. After a brief historical outline, the book begins anew with the principles about which we are most certain, relativity and quantum mechanics, and the properties of particles that follow from these principles. Quantum field theory emerges from this as a natural consequence. The author presents the classic calculations of quantum electrodynamics in a thoroughly modern way, showing the use of path integrals and dimensional regularization. His account of renormalization theory reflects the changes in our view of quantum field theory since the advent of effective field theories. The book’s scope extends beyond quantum electrodynamics to elementary particle physics, and nuclear physics. It contains much original material, and is peppered with examples and insights drawn from the author’s experience as a leader of elementary particle research. Problems are included at the end of each chapter. This work will be an invaluable reference for all physicists and mathematicians who use quantum field theory, and it is also appropriate as a textbook for graduate students in this area.

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5.) The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics by Robert Crease and Charles Mann

the-second-creation-makers-of-the-revolution-in-twentieth-century-physics-by-robert-p-crease-charles-c-mann
Lists It Appears On:

    • Forbes
    • The Guardian

The Second Creation is a dramatic–and human–chronicle of scientific investigators at the last frontier of knowledge. Robert Crease and Charles Mann take the reader on a fascinating journey in search of “unification” (a description of how matter behaves that can apply equally to everything) with brilliant scientists such as Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, Sheldon Glashow, Steven Weinberg, and many others. They provide the definitive and highly entertaining story of the development of modern physics, and the human story of the physicists who set out to find the “theory of everything.”

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1. (tie) Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai & Napolitano

modern-quantum-mechanics-by-j-j-sakurai
Lists It Appears On:

    • Less Wrong
    • Math
    • Physics Insider

This best-selling classic sets the standard for the quantum mechanics physics market. It provides a graduate-level, non-historical, modern introduction of quantum mechanical concepts for first year graduate students. The author was a noted theorist in particle theory, and was well renowned in his area of expertise. This revised edition retains the original material, but adds topics that extend its usefulness into the 21st century. Students will still find such classic developments as neutron interferometer experiments, Feyman path integrals, correlation measurements, and Bell’s inequality. Updated material includes time independent perturbation theory for The Degenerate Case which can be found in 5. New supplementary material is at the end of the text.

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1. (tie) Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner

quantum-enigma-physics-encounters-consciousness-by-bruce-rosenblum-fred-kuttner
Lists It Appears On:

    • About
    • Forbes
    • Geometry

In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science and the basis of one-third of our economy. They found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and anecdotes about the theory’s developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, emphasizing what is and what is not speculation. Quantum Enigma’s description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is heatedly controversial. But every interpretation of quantum physics involves consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself–and encounter quantum mechanics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing. Readers are brought to a boundary where the particular expertise of physicists is no longer the only sure guide. They will find, instead, the facts and hints provided by quantum mechanics and the ability to speculate for themselves.

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1. (tie) Quantum Mechanics I & II by Cohen-Tannoudji

quantum-mechanics-volume-i-quantum-mechanics-1-by-claude-cohen-tannoudji
Lists It Appears On:

    • Math
    • Physics Insider
    • Less Wrong

Beginning students of quantum mechanics frequently experience difficulties separating essential underlying principles from the specific examples to which these principles have been historically applied. Nobel-Prize-winner Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and his colleagues have written this book to eliminate precisely these difficulties. Fourteen chapters provide a clarity of organization, careful attention to pedagogical details, and a wealth of topics and examples which make this work a textbook as well as a timeless reference, allowing to tailor courses to meet students’ specific needs.

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1. (tie) The Feynman Lectures on Physics, volume 3 by Richard Feynman, Robert Leighton, and Matthew Sands

the-feynman-lectures-on-physics-vol-3-by-richard-feynman
Lists It Appears On:

    • The Guardian
    • Physics Insider
    • Math

For more than thirty years, Richard P. Feynman’s three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein’s general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman’s lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight. Responding to the tremendous clamor for the original audio tapes from which the Lectures on Physics were transcribed, Persues Books is releasing Feynman’s original recordings, remastered for modern audio equipment and re-organized for cohesiveness and convenience. Timeless, and collectible, these tapes will serve as a comprehensive library of essential physics by a legend in science.

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#20-105 Best Quantum Books
(Appear on 1 List)



 

101 Quantum Questions: What you Need to Know About the World You Can’t See Kenneth Ford Omni
ABC’s of Physics: A Very Brief Guide Lev Okun Omni
Advanced Quantum Mechanics Sakurai Math
Condensed Matter Physics M. P. Marder Daniel I. Khomskii
Course of Theoretical Physics L. D. Landau and I. M Lifshits Daniel I. Khomskii
Dance of the Photons Anton Zeilinger Forbes
Divided by Infinity” Robert Charles Wilso Science Blogs
Elementary Quantum Mechanics David Saxon Math
Field Quantization Greiner Flip Tomato
Field Theory: A Modern Primer Pierre Ramond Math
Gauge Field Theories: an introduction with applications Guidry Math
Group Theory and Quantum Mechanics Michael Tinkham Geometry
How the Hippies Saved Physics David Kaiser Forbes
Intermediate Quantum Mechanics Bethe and Jackiw Math
Introduction to Elementary Particles Griffiths Flip Tomato
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics A.C. Phillips Physics Database
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Griffiths Physics Insider
Introductory Quantum Mechanics Liboff Math
James Peebles Quantum Mechanics Math
Many-Particle Physics G. D. Mahan Daniel I. Khomskii
Mathematical Aspects of Quantum Field Theory (Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics) Edson de Faria, Welington de Melo Geometry
Mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics John von Neumann Math
Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics A. A. Abrikosov Daniel I. Khomskii
Modern Physics: The Quantum Physics of Atoms, Solids, and Nuclei Robert L. Sproull Omni
Mr. Tompkins in Paperback George Gamow The Guardian
Quanta: A Handbook of concepts P.W.Atkins Math
Playing the Quantum Field : How Changing Your Choices Can Change Your Life Brenda Anderson Geometry
Principles of QM Dirac Math
Principles of the Theory of Solids J. M. Ziman Daniel I. Khomskii
Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos Seth Lloyd About
Quantum Field Theory Mark Srednicki Geometry
Quantum Field Theory Franz Mandl, Graham Shaw Geometry
Quantum Field Theory (Mathematical Surveys and Monographs) Gerald B. Folland Geometry
Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems: From the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons (Oxford Graduate Texts) Xiao-Gang Wen Geometry
Quantum Mechanics Schiff Math
Quantum Mechanics Demystified: A Self Teaching Guide David McMahon Omni
Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction Greiner Less Wrong
Quantum Physics and Theology John Polkinghorne About
Quantum Physics for Beginners: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Theory Explained Jason Stephenson Omni
Quantum Physics For Dummies Steven Holzner Omni
Quantum Physics I W.L. Barnes Physics Database
Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles Eisberg and Resnick Math
Quantum Physics: A Fundamental Approach to Modern Physics Dr. John Townsend Omni
Quantum Physics: Beginner’s Guide to the Most Amazing Physics Theories Jared Hendricks Omni
Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics Nick Herbert The Guardian
Quantum Theory David Bohm Geometry
Quantum Theory and Measurement J. Wheeler and W. Zurek Math
Quantum theory of molecules Heitler & London Math
Quantum Theory of Solids C. Kittel Daniel I. Khomskii
Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) John Polkinghorne Geometry
Quantum theory: Address, essays, lectures Slater Math
Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed Dr. Jim Al-Khalili Omni
Relativistic Quantum Mechanics/ Relativistic Quantum Fields Bjorken and Drell Math
Relativity and Quantum Physics For Beginners Steven Manly Omni
Schrödinger: Life and Thought Walter Moore The Guardian
Six Quantum Pieces: A First Course in Quantum Physics Valerio Scarani Omni
Solid State Physica N. W. Ashcroft Daniel I. Khomskii
Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics J. Bell Math
Story of Your Life Ted Chiang Science Blogs
String Theory For Dummies Andrew Zimmerman Jones Geometry
The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics James Kakalios About
The Basics of Quantum Mechanics Physics Database
The Evolution of Cooperation Robert Axelrod Five Books
The Infinity Puzzle Frank Close Forbes
The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics C. DeWitt and N. Graham Math
The origin and development of the quantum theory Max Planck, Hans Thacher Clarke, Ludwik Silberstein Geometry
The Quantum Challenge George Greenstein and Arthur Zajonc Forbes
The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 2: Modern Applications Steven Weinberg Geometry
The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 3: Supersymmetry Steven Weinberg Geometry
The Quantum Theory of Motion Holland Math
The Quantum Thief Hannu Rajaniem Science Blogs
The Quantum Universe Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw About
The quantum vacuum: an introduction to quantum electrodynamics Milonni Math
The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone Kenneth W. Ford Omni
The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins Five Books
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom Graham Farmelo The Guardian
The Theory of Almost Everything Robert Oerter Forbes
Theory of Superconductivity J. R. Schrieffer Daniel I. Khomskii
Theory of the Universal Wavefunction H. Everett: Math
Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory George Gamow Geometry
Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn Amanda Gefter Forbes
Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science David Lindley Forbes
Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg, David Cassidy The Guardian
What is life? Erwin Shroedinger Five Books


The Best Quantum Theory Book Lists Consulted



Source Article
About Quantum Physics Books
Daniel I. Khomskii Basic Aspects of the Quantum Theory of Solids: Order and Elementary Excitations
Five Books Vlatko Vedral recommends the best books on The Quantification of Everything
Flip Tomato From Griffiths to Peskin: a lit review for beginners
Forbes Great Books For Non-Physicists Who Want To Understand Quantum Physics
Geometry Quantum Theory books
Less Wrong The Best Textbooks on Every Subject
Math A Physics Book List: Recommendations from the Net
Omni Quantum Physics Books for Beginners
Physics Database Quantum Physics Books for Beginners
Physics Insider How to Learn Quantum Mechanics
Science Blogs Favorite Quantum Physics in Fiction?
The Guardian David Kaiser’s top 10 books about quantum theory

 

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