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Getting introduced to Lattice QCD

  1. Sep 1, 2014 #1

    I am a first year graduate student in physics who is interested in getting involved in the field of lattice QCD. I purchased the text "Lattice methods for quantum chromodynamics" by DeGrand and Detar. I have never taken a course on quantum field theory, but I hoped that having knowledge of quantum mechanics at the level of Sakurai and E&M at the level of Jackson could *possibly* enable me to understand the text. I was most definitely wrong in that assumption. It seems pretty clear you need to already understand QFT somewhat.

    Is anyone familiar with this text? If so, what textbooks should I go through first, or a least have by my side as I try to slog through this one? I have noticed the authors sometimes quote the QFT text by Peskin and Schroeder. Maybe this would be a good place to start?

    Thanks for reading
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2014 #2


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    I'm not an expert in Lattice QCD but famliar with QFT. Peskin/Schroeder is a standard introductory text, which is in principle pretty good but unfortunately full of typos and sometimes even conceptual problems (e.g., in the chapter on the renormalization group, dimensionful arguments of logs occur, which is ironic, because the renormalization group is all about the scales which must be introduced into the game to avoid dimensional arguments in logs). Thus I recommend Ryder's book as an introductory text. This should be enough to understand the principles of QFT, including renormalization and gauge theories.

    The best books on relativistic QFT ever written, in my opinion, are Weinberg's three volumes, The Quantum Theory of Fields. You don't need vol. 3 which is about supersymmetric QFT. Vol. I covers the basics including QED and Vol. II is about gauge theories and the Standard Model, including the renormalization group, anomalies, and all that.

    You find my own attempt to (start to) write an intro text to QFT at my home page:


    I'm not aware of a basic textbook which uses the lattice formulation from the start. I guess, that would be possible in principle too, because the lattice approach can be seen as just another way to regularize the continuum theory.
  4. Sep 2, 2014 #3


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    Have you looked on the archives? If not, go to xxx.lanl.gov and do a search for papers with ''lattice'' and ''lectures'' or ''introduction'' in the title or abstract. You will find many good introductions and this is all free (you can do the same thing with quantum field theory) .
    As for books on lattice QFT, I don't know the one you got. I like the books by Smit and the one by Rothe.
    There is another one by Gattringer and Lang which presents itself as being introductory so maybe it is good. I don't know it.

    For QFT, I personally think that Peskin and Schroeder is not the best way to start. And the books by Weinberg are excellent but not at all as a starting point.

    I would suggest to first read Introduction to Elementary Particle Physics by Griffiths, it is the best starting point, IMHO. Then I would say look at the books on QFT and relativistic quantum mechanics by Greiner. Ryder is also great. Then Srednicki. Focus on the path integral approach as it is central in Lattice QFT.
  5. Sep 2, 2014 #4
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I certainly have a better idea of how to get started here!
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