What are the requirements in physics and mathematics that somebody must have in order to start learning Quantum Mechanics by himself?

  • $\begingroup$ everyone will give you different books for this but I started with boas mathematical methods... for the maths and McMahon quantum mechanics for the physical side. If you get through those imo you will be well on the way... Good luck with it $\endgroup$ – user74893 Mar 21 '15 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ No no,i meant what do i have to know BEFORE i study QM?i already know that knowing statistics,probability theory and classical mechanics and electromagnetism are requirements.So,what else? $\endgroup$ – TheQuantumMan Mar 21 '15 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Hi from my experience ,you need to be familiar with Dirac notation, principle of superposition, getting familiar with transforming classical equations into the quantum versions, expectation values, correlations , normalisation . But the hardest part for me more than learning these above areas was/is practice in thinking in quantum terms rather than classical ones. Especially since the more you know about classical mechanics, in some ways it's more difficult to think in quantum terms. $\endgroup$ – user74893 Mar 21 '15 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Just to conclude, I am self studying too, but although it's just practice with the new areas, and that's just a matter of time to understand, it's thinking in quantum terms that for me is much more difficult. No offence, but if you have not done q.m. before this, you will find out what I mean..when you read about how q. m. started, the people who developed it really had a hard time changing the way they thought. Regards $\endgroup$ – user74893 Mar 21 '15 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ ok,i will keep this in mind $\endgroup$ – TheQuantumMan Mar 21 '15 at 12:45

A firm understanding of classical physics is essential. This means understanding the qualitative and quantitative aspects of:

1) Newton's three laws of motion (Kinematic and Dynamic perspective)

2) Rotational motion dynamics

3) Electromagnetism

4) Newtonian mechanics (Newtonian gravity)

5) Principle of superposition and waves

6) Classical thermal physics

7) Particle physics

8) Harmonic oscillations

9) Scenarios where classical physics breaks down (differences between macroscopic and microscopic levels)

In mathematics, you'll most certainly benefit from knowing:

1) Calculus (preferably including differential geometry)

2) Calculations in 3D Euclidean space

3) A working knowledge of trigonometric functions

4) Vector calculus

5) Probability distributions and uncertainties

6) Linear algebra

Admittedly, this is a rather trivial summary of what you might need to start tackling quantum physics. In general, if you've completed high school physics and mathematics courses, you should first go through this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_quantum_mechanics I personally took the A level educational qualification (which I believe helps in establishing a good foundation to begin with quantum physics), and pardon me if I direct you to the CIE links for Mathematics (I recommend going through all 3: Pure, Mechanical and Statistical) and Physics:

(Physics books) http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/whats-new/revised-qualifications/cambridge-international-as-and-a-level-redevelopment-programme/support/as-a-level-physics/ (Mathematics syllabus) http://www.cie.org.uk/images/128623-2015-syllabus.pdf (Physics syllabus) http://www.cie.org.uk/images/164526-2016-2018-syllabus.pdf

A brief knowledge about relativity is also sometimes beneficial.

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