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Other Concise yet clear introductions to advanced subjects

  1. Oct 16, 2015 #1

    Geofleur

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    My favorite physics textbooks are often concise yet clear, and I thought it might be useful if there were a list of everyone's favorite concise yet clear physics textbooks, specifically introductions to advanced subjects that assume only a solid undergraduate preparation in physics. I will start the list off with a few:

    Compendium of Theoretical Physics, A. Wachter and H. Hoeber
    Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, A. Wachter
    Mechanics, Landau and Lifshitz
    Theory of Elasticity, Landau and Lifshitz

    ...and more along these lines would be much welcomed!
     
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  3. Oct 18, 2015 #2

    vanhees71

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    The obvious extension is

    -all of Landau-Lifschitz (particularly vol. II on classical field theory, vol. V on statistical physics, and vol. X on kinetic theory; the weakest volume is vol. IV, where QED is presented in a somewhat outdated way, although it contains a lot of material you don't find elsewhere in so compact form).

    As in introductory theory book, I'd recommend the Feynman Lectures.

    Then the best theory book series ever written are Sommerfeld's Lectures. I don't know any book about classical physics which is more clearly written. It's a bit oldfashioned sometimes (e.g., using the ##\mathrm{i} c t## convention in relativity or avoiding distributions, although the ##\delta## distribution was in fact invented by Sommerfeld rather than Dirac), but still it's the most concise exhibition of theoretical physics together with applied math. Particularly vol. 6 on partial differential equations in physics is a masterpiece.

    Coming very close to this style are Pauli's lectures. Particularly the quantum-mechanics volume is very good; the QFT volume outdated but very nice when it comes to the space-time representation of the invariant propagators, usually used in energy-momentum representation in modern textbooks.

    Concerning quantum field theory, Weinberg's 3-volume books is of utmost clarity (although not as an introductory text, for which I'd recommend Bailin&Love, Schwartz, Ryder or with a grain of salt Peskin&Schröder)
     
  4. Oct 21, 2015 #3

    Geofleur

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    I finally broke down and got the Sommerfeld books and Pauli lectures. I think the quantum field theory will have to wait. Any particular advice on how to read these books? I've plowed through lots of Landau/Lifshitz, so I assume it will be pretty much like that?
     
  5. Oct 21, 2015 #4

    dextercioby

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  6. Oct 26, 2015 #5

    Geofleur

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    Has anyone seen A Pedestrian Approach to Quantum Field Theory, by E. Harris? It's only 192 pages long - the question is whether it's clear.

    BTW, I have had some time to read the Pauli lectures, and they are indeed wonderful examples of clear yet concise books! They definitely belong with Landau & Lifshitz on my shelf of favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  7. Oct 28, 2015 #6

    dextercioby

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    I wouldn't consider this book (160 pages, written in 1971, published a year later), were I to choose what to read (next).
    It's not a classic (like Akhiezer + Berestetskii/Sakurai), so I dislike the x4 = ict convention. It's too new (1971) for that.
    The material is thrown at you without proper motivation (why do we need QFT?), even if the first 24 pages of NRQM make themselves a nice, mathematically mild review.
     
  8. Oct 29, 2015 #7

    vanhees71

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    Well, QFT books written before, say 1980, I'd consider as of historical interest only. One should note that there was a major breakthrough in 1971, when 't Hooft and Veltman published 't Hoofts PhD thesis on the renormalizability of non-Abelian gauge theories. Also Wilson's physical interpretation of the renormalization procedures came in the early 70ies.
     
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