# Matrix mechanics for those with wave mechanics background

Just curious:

Is there any book or resource that teaches matrix mechanics (quantum mechanics) only without wave mechanics stuff - meaning that the book assumes wave mechanics background.

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– Qmechanic Sep 22 '12 at 16:15
Dirac's book introduces a generalized matrix mechanics before specializing to the Heisenberg picture. The matrix mechanics is something one should learn for historical reasons only, to convince yourself Heisenberg got something right. There are intuitions here which are not immediate in wave-mechanics, and which are convenient. – Ron Maimon Sep 23 '12 at 6:09
Wait, so generalized matrix mechanics is what I should study, not matrix mechanics? – Do Go Sep 23 '12 at 7:06

There is an old book: H.S. Green, Matrix Mechanics, 1965, Groningen: P. Noordhoff, with a foreword by Max Born. As far as I remember, it does not even assume knowledge of wave mechanics, but it assumes some knowledge of linear algebra.

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What was in the old days called matrix mechanics is today called quantum mechanics in Heisenberg picture: The dynamics is given not in terms of a differential equation for the states (Schroedinger equation) but in terms of a differential equation for the observables, namely Heisenberg's matrices, later recognized as just being linear operators in Hilbert space.

My free online book

discusses quantum mechanics primarily in the Heisenberg picture, with just enough allowance for the Schroedinger equation to establish the connections.

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If you want to learn Matrix Mechanics, there's no better book than "Quantum Mechanics in Simple Matrix Form" by Thomas Jordan. It's elementary mathwise; it's a thin book. You'd see matrices everywhere in the book; even the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle (alla non-commutative) is treated that way in the first chapter. Check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Mechanics-Simple-Matrix-Physics/dp/0486445305/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348358796&sr=1-1&keywords=quantum+mechanics+in+simple+matrix+form#_

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This answer contains some additional resources that may be useful. Please note that answers which simply list resources but provide no details are strongly discouraged by the site's policy on resource recommendation questions. This answer is left here to contain additional links that do not yet have commentary.

• Modern Quantum Mechanics, by J.J. Sakurai & Jim Napolitano
• Quantum Mechanics by R.L Liboff has some introductory Matrix Mechanics. It is an ok but dated book for a first course in QM.
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