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How accessible is the Peskin and Schroeder textbook?

  1. Jan 20, 2014 #1
    **Please can an administrator move this to the "Maths and Physics Learning Materials" section- I can't post there for some reason. Thank you!**


    I am interested in learning some more technical Quantum Mechanics, and was wondering how accessible the Peskin and Schroeder textbook is as it seems to be the most popular on university courses.

    Does it show you how to derive important results in step-by-step detail, or is the reader required to fill in lots of gaps?
    Is it significantly easier/harder than other textbooks on QFT?
    Is it very abstract or does it link back to lots of physical examples?
    How good is it for self-study?
    What level of physics knowledge does it assume?
    Do I need to be familiar with any extra maths not taught at undergraduate level?

    Thank you for any advice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2014 #2


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    Peskin and Schroeder has many good qualities, but I wouldn't want to use it as an introduction to the subject. The book by Mandl and Shaw is IMO a lot easier.
  4. Jan 20, 2014 #3


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    I recommend the book by Srednicki, draft version available for free download from his website.
  5. Jan 20, 2014 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    In my on-off attempts to get to grips with QFT I bought a couple of books including Peskin and Schroeder.

    It's NOT the place to start.

    I would start with QFT dymytsified:

    Then Zee's book:

    Next I rather liked - Banks - Modern Quantum Theory - A Concise Introduction

    Srednicki is good too - but there was something about Banks I liked - it seemed to get to the heart of it.

    Only after that would I have a go at Peskin and Schroeder.

    Also it will pay to really come to grips with renormalisation beforehand- I found the following VERY helpful and have gone through it a number of times:

  6. Jan 21, 2014 #5

    George Jones

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    Do you mean quantum mechanics, or do you mean quantum field theory? If you do not already know quantum mechanics on, say, the level of "Introduction to Quantum Mechanics" by Griffiths, then I recommend against trying to learn quantum field theory.

    Also, from this thread,


    I also would say that you need to tackle more special relativity before trying quantum field theory.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  7. Jan 21, 2014 #6
    Thank you for the recommendations- I'll look at those instead of Peskin and Schroeder.

    Yes, I meant QFT rather than quantum mechanics. I've read Griffith's textbook and a couple of other ones at a similar level, and I'm currently about 2/3 through Schutz's GR textbook, so I also have (very basic) knowledge of SR and GR now. I'm planning on finishing that before I start reading QFT, but I will also try to make sure I study some more Special Relativity.
  8. Jan 21, 2014 #7

    George Jones

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  9. Jan 21, 2014 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    To clarify: the "Learning Materials" forums are for actual learning materials (written for PF), or links to them elsewhere on the web; not for requests for such materials, or for requests or discussions about books (for which we have this forum and its subforums).
  10. Jan 21, 2014 #9


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  11. Feb 11, 2014 #10
    Although I am a bit skeptical about how you have mastered special relativity and the math required beyond a-levels to start working on QFT in a little over 2 months (the last time you posted asking advice on where to start on special relativity).

    I will give a recommendation of Sidney Coleman's course notes from physics 253 for anyone else looking for good QFT notes
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