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. If you love dense content without any bla bla, you certainly should look at this series. The third book in this book review covers the nonrealistic quantum mechanics. We discuss the ninth German edition. However, most of what we say should apply to the English edition as well.
The book is structured in 18 chapters together with mathematical addititions. The chapters are as follows:
- Basic principles of quantum mechanics
- Energy and momentum
- The Schrödinger equation
- Angular momentum
- Movement in a spherical field
- Perturbation theory
- The quasi-classical case
- Identical particles
- The atom
- Two-atomic molecules
- Theory of symmetry
- Many-atomic molecules
- Addition of angular moment
- Movement in a magnetic field
- Structure of the atom nucleus
- Elastic shocks
- 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 demonstrates already 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. Unfortunatelly, 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 excercises. This is a lot! But what is even better is that all excercises 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. If you don’t have it yet, have a closer look at it here. Or compare with other great quantum physics books for beginners.
|Motivation:||(5.0 / 5)|
|Images:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Formulas:||(5.0 / 5)|
|Exercises:||(5.0 / 5)|