Principles of Quantum Mechanics
Over the decade and a half since I wrote the first edition, nothing has altered my belief in the soundness of the overall approach taken here. This is based on the response of teachers, students, and my own occasional rereading of the book. I was generally quite happy with the book, although there were portions where I felt I could have done better and portions which bothered me by their absence. I welcome this opportunity to rectify all that. Apart from small improvements scattered over the text, there are three major changes. First, I have rewritten a big chunk of the mathematical introduction in Chapter 1. Next, I have added a discussion of time-reversal in variance. I don't know how it got left out the first time-1 wish I could go back and change it. The most important change concerns the inclusion of Chaper 21, "Path Integrals: Part II." The first edition already revealed my partiality for this subject by having a chapter devoted to it, which was quite unusual in those days. In this one, I have cast off all restraint and gone all out to discuss many kinds of path integrals and their uses. Whereas in Chapter 8 the path integral recipe was simply given, here I start by deriving it. I derive the configuration space integral (the usual Feynman integral), phase space integral, and (oscillator) coherent state integral. I discuss two applications: the derivation and application of the Berry phase and a study of the lowest Landau level with an eye on the quantum H.all effect. The relevance of these topics is unquestionable. This is followed by a section of imaginary time path integrals~ its description of tunneling, instantons, and symmetry breaking, and its relation to classical and quantum statistical mechanics. An introduction is given to the transfer matrix. Then I discuss spin coherent state path integrals and path integrals for fermions. These were thought to be topics too advanced for a book like this, but I believe this is no longer true. These concepts are extensively used and it seemed a good idea to provide the students who had the wisdom to buy this book with a head start. How are instructors to deal with this extra chapter given the time constraints? I suggest omitting some material from the earlier chapters. (No one I know, myself included, covers the whole book while teaching any fixed group of students.) A realistic option is for the instructor to teach part of Chapter 21 and assign the rest as reading material, as topics for take-home exams, term papers, etc. To ignore it, I think, would be to lose a wonderful opportunity to expose the student to ideas that are central to many current research topics and to deny them the attendant excitement. Since the aim of this chapter is to guide students toward more frontline topics, it is more concise than the rest of the book. Students are also expected to consult the references given at the end of the chapter. Over the years, I have received some very useful feedback and I thank all those students and teachers who took the time to do so. I thank Howard Haber for a discussion of the Born approximation; Harsh Mathur and Ady Stern for discussions of the Berry phase; Alan Chodos, Steve Girvin, Ilya Gruzberg, Martin Gutzwiller, Ganpathy Murthy, Charlie Sommerfeld, and Senthil Todari for many useful comments on Chapter 21. I am most grateful to Captain Richard F. Malm, U.S.C.G. (Retired), Professor Dr. D. Schlüter of the University of Kiel, and Professor V. Yakovenko of the University of Maryland for detecting numerous errors in the first printing and taking the trouble to bring them to my attention. I thank Amelia McNamara of Plenum for urging me to write this edition and Plenum for its years of friendly and warm cooperation.