Resources

Here are some physics resources I have found useful over the years.

General Physics

Before mentioning some standard textbooks commonly used in undergraduate classrooms, here are some other ones that are perhaps less well-known but are equally good for getting a feel for physics before being bombarded with mathematics.

  • Motion Mountain by Christoph Schiller. This is an excellent introduction to physics: it’s elegantly written, full of examples and thought-provoking questions, and explains the physics of many everyday physical phenomena, even some interesting ones you may never have seen before. And best of all, it contains minimal mathematics – just as a physics introduction should be! I highly recommend it.
  • The Flying Circus of Physics by  Jearl Walker. Geared specifically towards explaining everyday physical phenomena to highlight the ubiquity of physics.
  • Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt. Formatted like a standard undergraduate physics textbook, but like The Flying Circus of Physics is devoted to conceptual understanding.

Here are some of the standard texts.

Quantum Physics and Quantum Theory

The following two texts are standard ones used in undergraduate physics programs.

The following books are more suitable for graduate students, though not completely out of reach for senior undergraduates.

Quantum Information Theory and Quantum Computing

  • Quantum Information Theory by Mark Wilde. (Also freely available at arXiv:1106.1445.) An excellent book covering all important aspects of both classical and quantum information theory. It is mathematically rigorous, and is continuously being updated with the latest results in the field!
  • Theory of Quantum Information by John Watrous. Also an excellent book on the basics of quantum information. Suitable for more mathematically-inclined readers.
  • Lecture Notes by John Preskill. Yet another solid introduction to quantum information. Unlike the two books above, it also covers quantum computing. (See below for other books on quantum computing.)
  • Quantum Systems, Channels, Information: A Mathematical Introduction by Alexander Holevo. By a pioneer in the field, this book is notable for its coverage of quantum systems modelled by infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces.

For a very quick and non-technical introduction to quantum computing, check out this page from the Institute for Quantum Computing.

  • Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Michael Nielsen and Issac Chuang. Probably the most well-known and highly-used book in the field by both students and researchers. It is comprehensive in its coverage of both quantum computation and quantum information. (Suitable for senior undergraduates.)
  • An Introduction to Quantum Computing by Phillip Kaye, Raymond Laflamme, and Michele Mosca. Devoted solely to quantum computation, it was the first book I read on the subject. It is more concise than the book by Nielsen and Chuang. Better for students looking for a quick introduction to the most important aspects of quantum computing. (Suitable for senior undergraduates.)

  • Quantum Processes, Systems, and Information by Benjamin Schumacher and Michael Westmoreland. By two pioneers of quantum information theory, this is both a good introduction to quantum theory as a whole and to quantum information and computation. It contains a good treatment of entanglement and Bell’s theorem.
  • Introduction to Optical Quantum Information Processing by Pieter Kok and Brendon Lovett. How to use optical systems for quantum computing.

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