© 2014

Quirky Quantum Concepts

Physical, Conceptual, Geometric, and Pictorial Physics that Didn’t Fit in Your Textbook


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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 1-59
  3. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 61-117
  4. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 119-158
  5. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 159-186
  6. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 187-233
  7. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 235-267
  8. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 269-304
  9. Eric L. Michelsen
    Pages 305-336
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 337-361

About this book


Quirky Quantum Concepts explains the more important and more difficult concepts in theoretical quantum mechanics, especially those which are consistently neglected or confusing in many common expositions. The emphasis is on physical understanding, which is necessary for the development of new, cutting edge science.

In particular, this book explains the basis for many standard quantum methods, which are too often presented without sufficient motivation or interpretation. The book is not a simplification or popularization: it is real science for real scientists. Physics includes math, and this book does not shy away from it, but neither does it hide behind it. Without conceptual understanding, math is gibberish. The discussions here provide the experimental and theoretical reasoning behind some of the great discoveries, so the reader may see how discoveries arise from a rational process of thinking, a process which Quirky Quantum Concepts makes accessible to its readers.

Quirky Quantum Concepts is therefore a supplement to almost any existing quantum mechanics text. Students and scientists will appreciate the combination of conversational style, which promotes understanding, with thorough scientific accuracy.


Difficult Quantum Concepts made Easy Graduate Quantum Mechanics Quantum Mechanics Concepts Quantum Mechanics Supplement Quantum Mechanics Textbook Undergrad Quantum Mechanics Understanding Quantum Mechanics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.PowayUSA

About the authors

After two decades as a successful software engineer, Eric Michelsen returned to school, receiving his PhD in Physics from University of California, San Diego in 2010. He has taught senior-level and introductory engineering and physics at UCSD, Florida Institute of Technology, Pomona College in Clairemont, CA, and Palomar Community College in San Marcos, CA.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Energy, Utilities & Environment
IT & Software


From the book reviews:

“This is a very useful and interesting complement to any elementary exposition of quantum mechanics. … The book is written in a reader-friendly manner and explains the basis for standard quantum methods and also covers most of the unusual and challenging concepts in a course on non-relativistic quantum mechanics.” (Lech Jakóbczyk, Mathematical Reviews, October, 2014)

“This book reconsiders most all of the topics covered in an upper-division quantum mechanics sequence. … The author does a good job of giving deeper and broader conceptual and geometric discussions than those found in typical texts. … A useful resource for readers with the proper background who are seeking a better understanding of quantum mechanics. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty.” (E. Kincanon, Choice, Vol. 51 (11), August, 2014)