Graduate Course: Quantum Physics

John Venables, Dept of Physics, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

PHY 571, Quantum Physics: Errors in Gasiorowicz 3rd edition

These errors have been found by PHY 571 students, and other students who emailed me, and checked by myself. But they are not an official list of errors sanctioned by anyone else, so use this list at your own risk.

  • Page 16, equation (1-29): The final expression is missing a factor of me. This is easily seen by comparing (1-27) with the kinetic energy term in (1-29), or (1-28) with the potential energy term in (1-29).
  • Page 27, in the solution to example 2-1: There is an 'i' missing in the second line. See the bracket where we have (eiKx - e-Kx). The second term should, of course, be e-iKx.
  • Page 64, question 10, part (b): The fact expressed by the equation is in fact incorrect. The sum is equal to π2/6 not π2/8. This is written out clearly in many books of Math tables. The one I have used is by Alan Jeffrey Handbook of Mathematical Formulas and Integrals (Academic Press, 1995); the formula is formula #1 on page 40. The formula as written on page 64 is actually the sum over the odd numbers, and is given as formula #11 on the same page of Jeffrey's book.
  • Page 79, figure 4.11(b). This may seem a picky point, but the the form of the wave function between the two wells is not well drawn: it is not a flat-bottomed function, but is a cosh(kappa.x) type function. The drawing on page 81, figure 4.13, is correct.
  • Page 329, value for the Rydberg constant, R0: This should be 13.605698(40) eV, not 13.06... The value was correct in the second edition, so this is warning about the inevitability of progress...

If you find any further errors in the 3rd edition, please email me at

Latest version of this document: 18th September 2009.