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Popular books on QM

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I am interested in reading up on quantum theory so that I can reasonably understand the concepts of a Copenhagen vs. Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics.

I'm interested in quantum theory in general but have absolutely no experience with it. I don't care about the math, but I do want to hear the concepts, how they were "discovered", what they explain about the universe, and why they are considered true.

What is a book or set of books that would help me go from not understanding it at all to having some kind of intuition? Let me know. Thanks!

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marked as duplicate by David Z May 29 '12 at 17:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

While it's not really a bad question, we keep a tight lid on book recommendations and this is just too close to the existing one. – David Z May 29 '12 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

An interesting book explaining the essence of quantum mechanics in a way that requires a minimal mathematical background (just knowing some linear algebra could help, but the book actually explains the necessary math) is David Albert's Quantum Mechanics and Experience. It tackles the main interpretations of quantum mechanics: the Copenhagen interpretation, the Bohmian interpretation as well as Many World and Many Minds.

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I recommend the following two books:

  1. Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists by Fred A. Wolf.

  2. Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction by John Polkinghorne.

Also see this link: Book recommendations

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That's for the answers. I've been reading Taking the Quantum Leap and I'm very dissatisfied with it; I guess expecting a book to both be approachable by everyone and not to skip steps in the middle was asking a whole lot, but I need a bit more rigor than "Some guy shows that waves existed, so then everyone knew that light was a wave" – Jeremy Jul 2 '12 at 3:57

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