Quantum Physics: A Text for Graduate Students , Roger G. Newton Springer-Verlag, New York, 2002. $69.95 (411 pp.). ISBN 0-387-95473-2

Roger Newton has had a distinguished career in physics, with several significant contributions to scattering theory and high-energy physics. He has also written noteworthy physics books, both technical and popular. His new book, *Quantum Physics: A Text for Graduate Students*, faces stiff competition in an area already crowded with excellent texts.

I find Newton’s text comprehensive but rather terse: It would be tough going for most first-year graduate students. Within only 400 pages, it covers topics from such basics as the harmonic oscillator to the Dirac equation. One finds all the major areas of a standard first-year graduate curriculum, including angular momentum, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, and multiparticle systems. The treatments are logical and accurate, but explanations are minimal. Furthermore, some topics are discussed before a student is prepared for them. For example, field quantization appears in the very first chapter, but might better have been deferred until after discussion of the operator form of the harmonic-oscillator solution.

The book has its high points. A section on interaction of radiation with matter is exceptionally good because the groundwork for quantization of the electromagnetic field was laid earlier. That allows for an elegant treatment of spontaneous emission. Several good exercises end each chapter, and concise, well-written appendices end the book. One such appendix, on group theory, is particularly useful as a springboard to additional study.

I would recommend Newton’s book more as a reference than as a general text. It is a difficult book for learning quantum mechanics on one’s own, but might work as a companion to detailed lectures. As introductory graduate texts, I prefer Ramamurti Shankar’s *Principles of Quantum Mechanics * (2nd ed., Plenum, 1994) and J. J. Sakurai’s *Modern Quantum Mechanics * (2nd ed., San Fu Tuan, ed., Addison-Wesley, 1994). Albert Messiah’s * Quantum Mechanics * (Dover, 1999), although voluminous, is always a good supplement.