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Introduction to Quantum Mechanics with Applications to Chemistry (Dover Books on Physics)

When this classic text used to be first published in 1935, it fulfilled the goal of its authors “to produce a textbook of practical quantum mechanics for the chemist, the experimental physicist, and the beginning student of theoretical physics.” Even supposing many who are teachers today once worked with the book as students, the text is still as valuable for a similar undergraduate audience.
Two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, Research Professor at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, Palo Alto, California, and E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Harvard University, provide a readily understandable study of “wave mechanics,” discussing the Schrodinger wave equation and the problems which may also be solved with it. Extensive knowledge of mathematics isn’t required, Even supposing the student will have to have a grasp of elementary mathematics through the calculus. Pauling and Wilson begin with a survey of classical mechanics, including Newton’s equations of motion in the Lagrangian form, and then move on to the “old” quantum theory, developed through the work of Planck, Einstein and Bohr. This analysis ends up in the heart of the book ― an explanation of quantum mechanics which, as Schrodinger formulated it, “involves the renunciation of the hope of describing in exact detail the behavior of a system.” Physics had created a new realm in which classical, Newtonian certainties were replaced by probabilities ― a change which Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (described in this book) therefore reinforced.
With clarity and precision, the authors guide the student from topic to topic, covering such subjects as the wave functions for the hydrogen atom, perturbation theory, the Pauli exclusion principle, the structure of simple and complex molecules, Van der Waals forces, and systems in thermodynamic equilibrium. To insure that the student can follow the mathematical derivations, Pauling and Wilson keep away from the “temptation to condense the quite a lot of discussions into shorter and perhaps more elegant forms” appropriate for a more advanced audience. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics is a perfect vehicle for demonstrating the practical application of quantum mechanics to a broad spectrum of chemical and physical problems.

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