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Best Book to Learn Basics (between undergrad and grad)

  1. Feb 3, 2007 #1
    Hello All!

    I'm very interested in learning about particle physics and am wondering which book you guys recommend as a starting point. I'm looking for something in between undergrad and grad. So far it seems like the two best choices are Griffiths' Introduction to Elementary Paticles, and Halzen's Quarks and Leptons. The one thing I'm worried about though is that both of these books are 20 years old. Anybody have any insights?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2007 #2


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    Griffiths is a good book. I would think that many of the fundamentals [as one would expect from an "Introduction"] are the same from 20 years ago.
  4. Feb 9, 2007 #3
    A new edition of Griffiths is scheduled for March.

    Since the Standard Model hasn't changed much in the interim, though, I think the two older books hold up fine.

    I'd also recommend Aitchison & Hey.
  5. Feb 27, 2007 #4

    George Jones

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    I suspect the new edition will contain much more about neutrinos, because a lot of neutrino stuff has happened in the last 20 years.

    Another nice book at about this level is An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics by Cottingham and Greenwood. A second edition of this has just been released. New to this edition are Section 6.7 Dirac and Majorana fields, and three new chapters,

    19 Neutrino masses and mixing 185
    19.1 Neutrino masses 185
    19.2 The weak currents 186
    19.3 Neutrino oscillations 187
    19.4 The MSW effect 190
    19.5 Neutrino masses and the Standard Moael 191
    19.6 Parameterisation of U 191
    19.7 Lepton number conservation 192
    19.8 Sterile neutrinos 193

    20 Neutrino masses and mixing: experimental results 194
    20.1 Introduction 194
    20.2 K2K 196
    20.3 Chooz 198
    20.4 KamLAND 198
    20.5 Atmospheric neutrinos 200
    20.6 Solar neutrinos 200
    20.7 Solar MSW effects 203
    20.8 Future prospects 204

    21 Majorana neutrinos 206
    21.1 Majorana neutrino fields 206
    21.2 Majorana Lagrangian density 207
    21.3 Majorana field equations 208
    21.4 Majorana neutrinos: mixing and oscillations 209
    21.5 Parameterisation of U 210
    21.6 Majorana neutrinos in the Standard Model 210
    21.7 The seesaw mechanism 211
    21.8 Are neutrinos Dirac or Majorana? 212
  6. Feb 27, 2007 #5
    Oh, the heartbreak.

    Thanks for the info, George. I shouldn't have been so confident when saying nothing has changed.
  7. Mar 3, 2007 #6

    George Jones

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    Actually, I think you're all too right.

    Even though dark matter, dark enery, neutrino mass, and speculations on the nature of quantum gravity are all interesting, fundamental physics hasn't really advanced that much in the last thirty years.

    For my money, the 25 year period during which physics advanced the most was 1905 - 1930.
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