Looking for book about relativistic classical field theory

In summary, the conversation discusses different books for learning relativistic classical field theory. The participants mention that Goldstein's 3rd edition is not recommended due to errors and inconsistencies. Landau and Lifshitz's vol. 1 is suggested as a good introduction, along with other books such as Soper's "Classical field theory" and Burgess' "Classical covariant fields." The conversation also mentions the availability of some books for free.
  • #1
StenEdeback
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Hi,

I am trying to learn relativistic classical field theory as a preparation for studying quantum field theory.
I am currently reading chapter 13 i Herbert Goldstein's Classical Mechanics edition 3, but I think that this book is a bit too brief and does not fully derive and explain the formulas.
I would be grateful for advice.Sten E
 
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  • #2
Landau-Lifshitz's classical theory of fields is a classic, though I do not know if it is good for introduction to quantum field.
 
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  • #3
Don't use "Goldstein" 3rd edition. It's a distortion of the original 2nd edition making it worse, containing several mistakes (wrong treatment of anholonomous constraints using the Hamilton principle of least action contradicting the correct results from the treatment using d'Alembert's principle without even mentioning that there's a difference) and inconsistencies (switching the sign convention of the metric from one section to another). Concerning relativity the 2nd edition cannot be unanimously recommended, because it uses the old-fashioned ##\mathrm{i} c t## (pseudo-Euclidean) convention.

Indeed, I think the best book as an introduction to relativistic classical field theory (electrodynamics and general relativity) is Landau and Lifshitz vol. 1. Relativistic hydro is sketched quite well in vol. 6.

A somewhat unusual introduction, but precisely because of this alternative approach a gem:

D. E. Soper, Classical field theory, Dover Publications, Minneola, New York (2008).
 
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  • #5
anuttarasammyak said:
Landau-Lifshitz's classical theory of fields is a classic, though I do not know if it is good for introduction to quantum field.
Thank you anuttarasammyak!
 
  • #6
vanhees71 said:
Don't use "Goldstein" 3rd edition. It's a distortion of the original 2nd edition making it worse, containing several mistakes (wrong treatment of anholonomous constraints using the Hamilton principle of least action contradicting the correct results from the treatment using d'Alembert's principle without even mentioning that there's a difference) and inconsistencies (switching the sign convention of the metric from one section to another). Concerning relativity the 2nd edition cannot be unanimously recommended, because it uses the old-fashioned ##\mathrm{i} c t## (pseudo-Euclidean) convention.

Indeed, I think the best book as an introduction to relativistic classical field theory (electrodynamics and general relativity) is Landau and Lifshitz vol. 1. Relativistic hydro is sketched quite well in vol. 6.

A somewhat unusual introduction, but precisely because of this alternative approach a gem:

D. E. Soper, Classical field theory, Dover Publications, Minneola, New York (2008).
Thank you vanhees71!
 
  • #10
vanhees71 said:
Don't use "Goldstein" 3rd edition. It's a distortion of the original 2nd edition making it worse, containing several mistakes (wrong treatment of anholonomous constraints ...
Are the anholonomous constraints treated correctly in older editions?
 
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  • #11
Demystifier said:
At a similar level M. Burgess, Classical Covariant Fields.
Thank you Demystifier!
 
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  • #13
Demystifier said:
Are the anholonomous constraints treated correctly in older editions?
Yes!
 
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  • #16
I believe the book "Gravitation: Foundations and Frontiers" by T. Padmanabhan (and his online lectures) is best. And Landau-Lifshitz's classical theory of fields, Feynman's lectures on Gravitation, Gravitation and Cosmology by S. Weinberg are better.
 
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