This World Wide Web page written by
Oberlin College Physics Department;
last updated 15 June 2012.
I can well remember the day thirty years ago when I opened the pages of Feynman-Hibbs, and for the first time saw quantum mechanics as a living piece of nature rather than as a flood of arcane algorithms that, while lovely and mysterious and satisfying, ultimately defy understanding or intuition. It is my hope and my belief that this emended edition will open similar doors for generations to come.
This World Wide Web site is devoted to the emended edition of
Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals,
by Richard P. Feynman and Albert R. Hibbs
emended by Daniel F. Styer
(first edition: McGraw-Hill, New York, 1965 -- emended edition: Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 2010)
(ISBN: paperback 978-0-486-47722-0)
(371 plus xii pages)
You may send the emender computer mail at Dan.Styer@oberlin.edu.
The book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals was first published in 1965, yet is still exciting, fresh, immediate, and important. It combines qualitative insight and technical brilliance in Feynman's characteristic manner. Although several more recent books treat this topic, these books emphasize the mathematics of path integration rather than the physics of quantum mechanics. All of these books lack Feynman's insight and verve. Indeed, the first sentence of Larry Schulman's book Techniques and Applications of Path Integration is "The best place to find out about path integrals is in Feynman's paper."
The first edition of this book suffered from a grave flaw: It was riddled with typographic errors and infelicities. I described the book as "full of extraordinary insight and excruciating errors" and produced a list of 879 errors that extended to 39 pages.
Here are explications of several difficult points:
Here is a spreadsheet to calculate and plot the sharp-edged slit diffraction results of figure 3-6. To use it you will need Microsoft Excel and the XNUMBERS free open-source add-in package.