This book is intended as a first course on quantum mechanics and its applications. It is designed to be a first course rather than a complete one, and it is based on lectures given to mathematics and physics students in Cambridge. The book should be suitable also for engineering students.
The first five chapters deal with basic quantum mechanics, and are followed by a revision quiz to test the reader's understanding of them. The remaining chapters concentrate on applications. In most courses on quantum mechanics, the first application is to scattering problems. While recognising the importance of scattering theory, we have chosen rather to describe the application of quantum mechanics to physical phenomena that are of more everyday interest. These include molecular binding, the physics of masers and lasers, simple properties of crystalline solids arising from their electronic band structure, and the operation of junction transistors.
A few problems are included at the end of each chapter. We urge the student to work through all of these, as they form an integral part of the course. Some hints on their solution may be found at the end of the book.
A previous edition of this book was published under the title Simple Quantum Physics in 1979. In this new edition, the main change is the addition of a chapter on the theory of spin, and its application to magnetic resonance imaging. We have also described the WKB approximation and its application to a-decay, and have made a number of other minor changes.