Six Quantum Pieces: A First Course In Quantum Physics (Anglais) Broché – 16 septembre 2010
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"I received this book with much anticipation as I had already read and enjoyed Prof. Scarani's earlier book on Quantum Physics. However, in the end, I feel that
the goal of using this book to teach neophytes basic quantum mechanics is not achieved. Specifically.
(1) The mathematical level of this book is still too advanced for high school students and most lower division undergraduate students in the US. For example, a fair
amount of background in linear algebra (inner products, basis vectors, tensor products !!) is assumed.
(2) The book is not written as clearly as Scarani's earlier book and could have used additional editing. I found myself having to re-read sections to extract the points the authors were trying to make.
(3) In my opinion there is really no way around having to learn the mathematics and plow through the standard texts (Dirac, Griffiths, Shankar, Sakurai, Feynman, Ballentine) to learn this material.
I think the book "Sneaking a Look at God's Cards" and Scarani's earlier book are much better texts for the reader looking for a feel for QM without being bogged down in mathematics.
For someone with more mathematical background who wants to avoid the standard physics textbook treatments listed above check out the following: Essential QM by Bowman, Understanding Quantum Physics by Morrison, or QM for Scientists and Engineers by Miller "
I discovered that beyond the first chapter, I could only understand only about 20% of the material. There are a lot of so called exercises interrupting the flow , most often you will not know how to complete those exercises, but even if you turn to the answers, they are so sketchy at the critical points that you dont know how did they get the results. This is very unsatisfactory. Although I possess only a Bachelor degree in maths from the OUHK, I think my ability in maths must be better than high school level and nominally should be able to understand this book. I cant. I dont even get the concept of entanglement or bell inequalty, or quantum cryptography without referring to other books. For explaining the bell inequality, its approach of using the CHSH test is much inferior to Anton Zeilinger's Dance of the Photons - appendix, which is crystal clear, Even in the first chapter, it did not explain what is meant by 'measurement' on a photon, what happens in the process. You wont understand the rest of the book unless your concept about performing photon measurement is clear. The chapter on 'decoherence and measurement' got only 104-97+1 = 8 pages! It is worse than lecture notes for such a big topic.Its 'explanation' on local realism is utterly unclear and worse than most qm book, and is most confusing I dont think I can understand this book unless Professor Scarani is sitting beside me. The 2 coauthors Mr Lynn and Mr Yang must be genius if they really understand qm to such a level as 'high school' students.
Besides the text is unclear, the layout of the whole book is boring and cheap, the diagrams are poorly drawn and too sketchy . It looks as if it is some student hand-in pdf files downloaded from the web stapled together. The cartoons are not even useless, do not help the explanation, but fail to achieve their purpose of delivering some humor. I am not interested in Singaporean jokes which I think those cartoons are trying to depict. The cartoons makes me feel uneasy.
I think I should refer to other qm books. Although it is dated, AP French's An intro to Quantum Physics 2 chapters (6,7) on the photon and bra-ket gives a much better description.