© 2018

A First Introduction to Quantum Physics

  • Explores key concepts in quantum theory using the simplest physical systems

  • Advances quantum theory with only simple mathematics that is developed as it is needed

  • Illustrates each key concept with modern examples such as gravitational wave detection, atomic clocks, magnetic resonance imaging, and the scanning tunneling microscope

  • Contains a complete set of end-of-chapter exercises


Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Pieter Kok
    Pages 1-9
  3. Pieter Kok
    Pages 11-31
  4. Pieter Kok
    Pages 33-55
  5. Pieter Kok
    Pages 57-73
  6. Pieter Kok
    Pages 75-96
  7. Pieter Kok
    Pages 97-113
  8. Pieter Kok
    Pages 115-138
  9. Pieter Kok
    Pages 139-169
  10. Pieter Kok
    Pages 171-194
  11. Pieter Kok
    Pages 195-224
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 225-243

About this book


In this undergraduate textbook, the author develops the quantum theory from first principles based on very simple experiments: a photon travelling through beam splitters to detectors, an electron moving through a Stern-Gerlach machine, and an atom emitting radiation. From the physical description of these experiments follows a natural mathematical description in terms of matrices and complex numbers. 

The first part of the book examines how experimental facts force us to let go of some deeply held preconceptions and develops this idea into a mathematical description of states, probabilities, observables, and time evolution using physical applications. The second part of the book explores more advanced topics, including the concept of entanglement, the process of decoherence, and extension of the quantum theory to the situation of a particle in a one-dimensional box. Here, the text makes contact with more traditional treatments of quantum mechanics. The remaining chapters delve deeply into the idea of uncertainty relations and explore what the quantum theory says about the nature of reality. 

The book is an ideal and accessible introduction to quantum physics, with modern examples and helpful end-of-chapter exercises.


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Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Pieter Kok is a Reader in Quantum Information Theory at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. His research interests include quantum information theory and quantum precision measurements. He studied physics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and received his PhD in quantum teleportation from the University of Wales in 2001. He has contributed to practical architectures for quantum computing, and Heisenberg-limited quantum metrology and imaging.

Bibliographic information