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I have taught myself QM using Griffiths book, and would like to move on to QFT. However, my textbook uses the Heisenberg picture of QM, and I have no idea how to use that. Are there any books that teach the Heisenberg picture of QM?

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  • $\begingroup$ I am a bit unsure of the different pictures/methodology of teaching QM but like yourself, I self studied QM, and moved on to very basic QFT. Does the interaction picture studied just before Feynman diagrams and Dyson series inQFT not bridge the gap? I was happy with the way it was presented to me and the field concepts that followed: do articles like this assist you?physics.stackexchange.com/questions/153699/… $\endgroup$
    – user140606
    Jan 16, 2017 at 3:19

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I will always recommend Shankar's book. He not only discusses the Heisenberg picture, but also the path-integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the interaction picture, and time dependent perturbation theory, all of which will be useful in QFT.

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Razavy's text "Heisenberg's quantum mechanics" is a non-traditional but interesting presentation of the topic, emphasizing the links to classical mechanics. Another possibly more traditional text is the "Quantum Mechanics" book of Albert Messiah, which contains much less details than Razavy but emphasizes the transformation from the Schrodinger to the Heisenberg pictures and onwards to the interaction picture.

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The second chapter of J. J. Sakurai's "Modern Quantum Mechanics" has a detailed discussion of the Heisenberg picture vs the Schrödinger picture and is a good introductory QM textbook in general if you are interested in some of the deeper mathematical ideas of quantum theory.

The two pictures are equivalent however so while I recommend reading up on how they differ I don't think you should have any trouble working through your new textbook!

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  • $\begingroup$ They are equivalent in terms of mathematics, but they certainly can be very different intuitively. Just the same way all programming languages are equivalent (i.e. Turing complete) but they certainly feel very different. $\endgroup$
    – Andrea
    Feb 2, 2021 at 8:07

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