Book Review: Quantum Mechanics by Landau and Lifshitz

This book, quantum mechanics, is the third book in a ten-books series by Nobel prize winner L.D. Landau and his student E.M. Lifshitz. Some say, that if you

understand all these books, you understand all of physics. Our personal opinion is, that these books, indeed are a fantastic summary of physics. They are, however, very dense. In other words, other authors might have used double the space for the same content. You should look at this series if you love dense content without unnecessary stuff. The third book in this book review covers nonrealistic quantum mechanics. We discuss the ninth German edition. However, most of what we say should also apply to the English edition.

The book is structured in 18 chapters together with mathematical additions. The chapters are as follows:

  1. Basic principles of quantum mechanics
  2. Energy and momentum
  3. The Schrödinger equation
  4. Angular momentum
  5. Movement in a spherical field
  6. Perturbation theory
  7. The quasi-classical case
  8. Spin
  9. Identical particles
  10. The atom
  11. Two-atomic molecules
  12. Theory of symmetry
  13. Many-atomic molecules
  14. Addition of angular moment
  15. Movement in a magnetic field
  16. Structure of the atom nucleus
  17. Elastic shocks
  18. Inelastic shocks

Without further ado, let’s look at the usual metrics we compare for all quantum physics books:

Motivation for Quantum Physics

The book by Landau and Lifshitz already demonstrates in its first paragraph that classical physics is limited. It would predict instable atoms, which is in clear contrast to reality. Already on the second page the uncertainty principle is explained, a very important ingredient of quantum mechanics. The great introduction also explains how measurement in quantum physics is fundamentally different from measurement in classical mechanics. The introduction continues with the superposition principle, operators and their addition and multiplication, and the continuous spectrum.

Since the superposition principle and the uncertainty relation are treated so early, and it is so clearly shown that quantum mechanics is needed, we can in accordance with our review principles award all five stars for the fantastic introduction.


When it comes to images, we counted 57 of them, all in black and white. Considering that the book has around 640 pages or an equivalent of around 450 pages of size A4, this is not really much. It is just a bit more than one image every eight pages (A4), for which we award three stars according to our review principles.


Wow, have you seen these many formulas? We counted 1635 numbered formulas, and this does not even mention unnumbered or inline formulas. This makes around 3.6 formulas per page of A4 size. And since we did not find many mistakes in the formulas, we can easily award five stars for this category. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an official list of errata as for Feynmans book.

Quantum Physics Exercises

This may be the best part about the quantum mechanics book by Landau and Lifshitz: We counted 176 exercises. This is a lot! But what is even better is that all exercises come with solutions. This is great news for everyone who really wants to understand quantum mechanics, and especially for students who want to train for their exams. A clear five stars for the exercises in this book!

Summary of our Book Review: Quantum Mechanics by Landau and Lifshitz

In this book review: quantum mechanics by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, we have told you, that the book is dense. With not so many images, this makes it typically more loved by the advanced reader. On the other hand, the great introduction and the many exercises with solutions make it very well-suited for everyone who seriously wants to learn quantum mechanics. All in all, this is a fantastic book. Check out other great quantum physics books for beginners.

Motivation: (5.0 / 5)
Images: (3.0 / 5)
Formulas: (5.0 / 5)
Exercises: (5.0 / 5)
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