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Classical and Quantum Mechanics

Classical and Quantum Mechanics

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Notes on
Classical and Quantum Mechanics
Jos Thijssen
February 10, 2005
(560 pages)
Available beginning of 1999

These notes have been developed over several years for use with the courses Classical and Quantum Mechanics A and B, which are part of the third year applied physics degree program at Delft Uni- versity of Technology. Part of these notes stem from courses which I taught at Cardiff University of Wales, UK.

These notes are intended to be used alongside standard textbooks. For the classical part, several texts can be used, such as the books by Hand and Finch (Analytical Mechanics, Cambridge Uni- versity Press, 1999) and Goldstein (Classical Mechanics, third edition, Addison Wesley, 2004), the older book by Corben and Stehle (Classical Mechanics, second edition, Dover, 1994, reprint of 1960 edition), and the textbook by Kibble and Berkshire, (Classical Mechanics, 5th edition, World Scien- ti\ufb01c, 2004). The part on classical mechanics is more self-contained than the quantum part, although consultation of one or more of the texts mentioned is essential for a thorough understanding of this \ufb01eld.

For the quantum mechanics part, we use the book by D. J. Grif\ufb01ths (Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition, Pearson Education International/Prentice Hall, 2005). This is a very nice, student-friendly text which, however, has two drawbacks. Firstly, the informal way in which the material is covered, has led to a non-consistent use of Dirac notation; very often, the wavefunc- tion formalism is used instead of the linear algebra notation. Secondly, the book does not go into modern applications of quantum mechanics, such as quantum cryptography and quantum computing. Hopefully these notes remedy that situation. Other books which are useful for learning this mate- rial from areIntroductory Quantum Mechanics by Liboff (fourth edition, Addison Wesley, 2004) and

Quantum Mechanicsby Bransden and Joachain (second edition, Prentice Hall, 2000). Many more

standard texts are availbale \u2013 we \ufb01nally mention hereQuantum Mechanics by Basdevant and Dal- ibard (Springer, 2002) and, by the same authors,The Quantum Mechanics Solver (Springer, 2000). Finally, the older text by Messiah (North Holland, 1961) the books by Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu and Lalo\u00a8

e (2 vols., John Wiley, 1996), by Gasiorowicz (John Wiley, 3rd edition, 2003) and by Merzbacher
(John Wiley, 1997) can all be recommended.

Not all the material in these notes can be found in undergraduate standard texts. In particular, the chapter on the relation between classical and quantum mechanics, and those on quantum cryptography and on quantum information theory are not found in all books listed here, although Liboff\u2019s book contains a chapter on the last two subjects. If you want to know more about these new developments, consultQuantum Computing and Quantum Information by Nielsen and Chuang (Cambridge, 2000).

Along with these notes, there is a large problem set, which is more essential than the notes them- selves. There are many things in life which you can only learn by doing it yourself. Nobody would seriously believe you can master any sport or playing a musical instrument by reading books. For physics, the situation is exactly the same. You have to learn the subject by doing it yourself \u2013 even by failing to solve a dif\ufb01cult problem you learn a lot, since in that situation you start thinking about the structure of the subject.

In writing these notes I had numerous discussions with and advice from Herre van der Zant and Miriam Blaauboer. I hope the resulting set of notes and problems will help students learn and appre- ciate the beautiful theory of classical and quantum mechanics.


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