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Quantum field theory vs particle physics 
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#1
Jun2807, 03:30 AM

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P: 4,575

On this forum, quantum field theory (QFT) is a part of this subforum (Quantum Physics), while particle physics is a subject of another forum. These two topics  QFT and particle physics  are clearly separated.
On the other hand, most textbooks on QFT are also textbooks on particle physics, and vice versa. This common practice creates an impression that QFT and particle physics are intimately related topics that do not make much sense separately. My questions for you is: Do you think that QFT and particle physics should be taught separately, or together? My opinion is that they should be taught separately. Just as solid state physics is usually taught separately from nonrelativistic QM. (Not to mention that QFT can be applied in solid state physics as well.) 


#2
Jun2807, 06:54 AM

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PF Gold
P: 29,239

QFT is a methodology. It is independent of particle physics. Zz. 


#3
Jun2807, 07:23 AM

P: 373

Oddly, my department don't seem to refer to QFT as a distinct and selfcontained subject. This lot are very much into their contextual learning approach, where underlying theory is introduced as a tool for doing research in a specific field. Not that there is, to my knowledge, an undergraduate or even Masters level course in QFT. I'm taking Lagrangian Field Theory and Symmetry next academic year; presumably QFT builds on this but  obviously  is quantised.
What bothers me is how little undergrads actually do and know. If I'd graduated this year I would never have used an STM, never taken a course in lasers, never done any field theory, never known anything about what makes the Standard Model work. As it happens I do a little more of this in my Masters year, but it still seems inadequate. 


#4
Jun2807, 08:09 AM

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P: 4,575

Quantum field theory vs particle physics



#5
Jun2807, 07:35 PM

P: 17

yes they should probably be taught separately. QFT happens to be the most dominant and useful tool to explain particles, but it is also useful in other realms.



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