quantum mechanics: Additional Information
Additional Reading
Several booklength studies have been written on the historical development of quantum mechanics; especially noteworthy are Olivier Darrigol, From CNumbers to QNumbers: The Classical Analogy in the History of Quantum Theory (1992); and Max Jammer, The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed. (1989).
Careful historical and philosophical studies of the work of many of the early architects of quantum theory may be found in Thomas S. Kuhn, BlackBody Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, 1894–1912 (1978, reprinted 1987); Bruce R. Wheaton, The Tiger and the Shark: Empirical Roots of WaveParticle Dualism (1983, reissued 1991); Abraham Pais, “Subtle Is the Lord...”: The Science and Life of Albert Einstein (1982), and Niels Bohr’s Times: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity (1991); Arthur Fine, The Shaky Game: Einstein, Realism, and the Quantum Theory, 2nd ed. (1996); Max Dresden, H.A. Kramers: Between Tradition and Revolution (1987); David C. Cassidy, Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg (1992); Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (1989); and Dugald Murdoch, Niels Bohr’s Philosophy of Physics (1987, reissued 1990). The birth of quantum theory in the period 1900–26, primarily within German university circles, is nicely contextualized by Christa Jungnickel and Russell McCormmach, Intellectual Mastery of Nature: Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein, 2 vol. (1986, reissued 1990). The transition from nonrelativistic quantum mechanics to renormalized quantum electrodynamics over the period 1926–49 is traced by Silvan S. Schweber, QED and the Men Who Made It: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga (1994).
There are a number of excellent texts on quantum mechanics at the undergraduate and graduate level. The following is a selection, beginning with the more elementary: A.P. French and Edwin F. Taylor, An Introduction to Quantum Physics (1978); Alastair I.M. Rae, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed. (1986); Richard L. Liboff, Introductory Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed. (1992); Eugen Merzbacher, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed. (1970); J.J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics, rev. ed. (1994); and Anthony Sudbery, Quantum Mechanics and the Particles of Nature: An Outline for Mathematicians (1986), rather mathematical but including useful accounts and summaries of quantum metaphysics. Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, vol. 3, Quantum Mechanics (1965), is a personal and stimulating look at the subject. A good introduction to quantum electrodynamics is Richard P. Feynman, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (1985).
J.C. Polkinghorne, The Quantum World (1984); John Gribbin, In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality (1984); Heinz R. Pagels, The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1982); and David Z. Albert, Quantum Mechanics and Experience (1992), are all highly readable and instructive books written at a popular level. Bernard d’Espagnat, Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed. (1976), is a technical account of the fundamental conceptual problems involved. The proceedings of a conference, New Techniques and Ideas in Quantum Measurement Theory, ed. by Daniel M. Greenberger (1986), contain a wideranging set of papers that deal with both the experimental and theoretical aspects of the measurement problem.
Applications are presented by H. Haken and H.C. Wolf, Atomic and Quantum Physics: An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Experiment and Theory, 2nd enlarged ed. (1987; originally published in German, 2nd rev. and enlarged ed., 1983); Emilio Segrè, Nuclei and Particles: An Introduction to Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics, 2nd rev. and enlarged ed. (1977, reissued 1980); Donald H. Perkins, Introduction to High Energy Physics, 3rd ed. (1987); Charles Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics, 6th ed. (1986); and Rodney Loudon, The Quantum Theory of Light, 2nd ed. (1983). B.W. Petley, The Fundamental Physical Constants and the Frontier of Measurement (1985), gives a good account of present knowledge of the fundamental constants.
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Gordon Leslie Squires
Lecturer in Physics, University of Cambridge; Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Author of Problems in Quantum Mechanics with Solutions and others.
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Article History
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Media added.  Jun 01, 2021  
Modified title of Web site: Livescience  What is Quantum Mechanics?  May 30, 2021  
Add new Web site: Livescience  What is Quantum Mechanics?  Feb 20, 2021  
Changed “one part in 10^6” to “one part in 10^8” in the section A quantum voltage standard.  Nov 12, 2020  
Changed "Broglie" to "de Broglie" throughout the section Historical basis of quantum theory.  Mar 20, 2018  
Changed "Broglie" to "de Broglie" in the section The interpretation of quantum mechanics.  Feb 08, 2018  
Corrected display issue.  Jan 19, 2018  
Media added.  Feb 24, 2017  
Media added.  Jun 17, 2016  
Added video about quantum tunneling.  Dec 03, 2015  
Added video about hidden variables.  Dec 03, 2015  
Description of John Stewart Bell changed from "British physicist" to "Irishborn physicist." 

Oct 23, 2014  
Article revised and updated.  Jun 25, 2012  
Value of Planck's constant updated from "6.626069 × 10^−34 joule∙second" to "6.62607 × 10^−34 joule∙second."  Sep 07, 2011  
The words "the English physicist Douglas R. Hartree and others in the 1920s" were changed to "the English physicist Douglas R. Hartree, the Russian physicist Vladimir Fock, and others in the 1920s and 1930s."  Feb 25, 2011  
Changed value of Planck's constant from 6.626075 x 10^34 to 6.626069 x 10^34. Changed value of Rydberg constant from 1.097373177 x 10^7 to 1.097373157 x 10^7.  Aug 11, 2010  
Added new Web site: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  Quantum Mechanics.  Aug 27, 2008  
Added new Web site: Boston University  The quantum mechanical view of the atom.  Jul 07, 2008  
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Nov 21, 2006  
Added new Web site: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  Everett's RelativeState Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.  Oct 29, 2006  
Article revised and updated.  Aug 17, 2006  
Article revised.  Sep 15, 2000  
Article added to new online database.  Jul 26, 1999 