Haven't taken Quantum, advice on what to study

ekuphysics
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:13 pm

Haven't taken Quantum, advice on what to study

Postby ekuphysics » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:36 pm

Ok, I'm sure similar questions have been posted, and I know that a lot of people suggest Halliday Resnick as a book to study. But I feel my case is a little different.

I took the April exam after about a month of studying the old tests and I pulled out a 590 which is 29th percentile. Not too good, I know, but I have not taken a Quantum Mechanics courses and will not be able to until next spring. I am planning on taking the test again in Nov. I just recently got a hold of a copy of The Fundamentals of Physics - Halliday,Resnick 8th edition and will work through that, but is that enough to have the background in Quantum that is required? I also have a book by Robinett and a book by Griffith's on Quantum. Should I study these instead?

The first time studying, I simply skipped everything that I didn't think I could learn before the test and instead focused on what I recognized. Now, I have more time. I really need to go over a lot of things: Thermo/Statistical Mech, Special Relativity, and then all of the Quantum things. What would be the best way to approach my preparation for quantum, as well as nuclear, atomic, etc?

Thank you for the help!

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HappyQuark
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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Haven't taken Quantum, advice on what to study

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:27 am

ekuphysics wrote:Ok, I'm sure similar questions have been posted, and I know that a lot of people suggest Halliday Resnick as a book to study. But I feel my case is a little different.

I took the April exam after about a month of studying the old tests and I pulled out a 590 which is 29th percentile. Not too good, I know, but I have not taken a Quantum Mechanics courses and will not be able to until next spring. I am planning on taking the test again in Nov. I just recently got a hold of a copy of The Fundamentals of Physics - Halliday,Resnick 8th edition and will work through that, but is that enough to have the background in Quantum that is required? I also have a book by Robinett and a book by Griffith's on Quantum. Should I study these instead?

The first time studying, I simply skipped everything that I didn't think I could learn before the test and instead focused on what I recognized. Now, I have more time. I really need to go over a lot of things: Thermo/Statistical Mech, Special Relativity, and then all of the Quantum things. What would be the best way to approach my preparation for quantum, as well as nuclear, atomic, etc?

Thank you for the help!


As a general rule, the first few chapters of griffiths quantum textbook is good. I don't have it in front of me so I can't recall specifically how far you would need to go. From my own foray into the Physics GRE, test questions on quantum typically ask about the infinite square well (particle in a box), quantum probabilities and quantum operators (I'm thinking specifically of the quantum hamiltonian). When I get a chance, I'll try to look through my old textbook to see if anything else stands out as important.

Knochera
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: Haven't taken Quantum, advice on what to study

Postby Knochera » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:12 pm

Like HappyQuark mentioned, Griffiths might be a pretty good source for you. Its a pretty easy read and gives a general idea of topics. Depending on how in depth you want to go, my favorite quantum text that I've encountered so far is "Introductory Quantum Mechanics" by Liboff. It's extremely good, but much harder to understand than Griffiths -- it would probably take a few reads through each chapter to really get a solid grasp on everything it goes into. If you study the first seven chapters in it you should be good for the PGRE (at least from what I've seen from practice tests) with the exception of one or two questions on things like Pauli Spin Matrices (Which come up in the later chapters in Liboff and Griffiths). Keep in mind though, if you go the Liboff route it will be much more time consuming than Griffiths.




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