# Mark Srednicki's Quantum Field Theory

Mark Srednicki's "Quantum Field Theory"

I just wanted to know what level the book QFT by Mark Srednicki is, that is... Is it considered first year Masters, second year masters... Low PhD..?? I know it's not upper year undergrad, that's for sure.

Just wondering. thanks!

## Answers and Replies

fzero
Homework Helper
Gold Member

I just wanted to know what level the book QFT by Mark Srednicki is, that is... Is it considered first year Masters, second year masters... Low PhD..?? I know it's not upper year undergrad, that's for sure.

Just wondering. thanks!

To study QFT in general, you want a firm background in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and electrodynamics. It is possible to find this background in undergrad courses, but it's more typical not to take a formal QFT course until the 2nd year of grad school. It doesn't hurt to start earlier as long as you're spending enough time on your actual classes.

As for Srednicki itself, it's at a level above Mandl (the place to start), but before Weinberg (the place to aspire too). I found it reasonably accessible, but the other alternative I guess would be Peskin, depends if you want the path integral approach or not.

Fredrik
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

I just wanted to know what level the book QFT by Mark Srednicki is, that is... Is it considered first year Masters, second year masters... Low PhD..?? I know it's not upper year undergrad, that's for sure.

Just wondering. thanks!
In Sweden this sort of thing would be taught mainly to fourth year students (or fifth...there's a 4-year program and a 4.5-year program) and first year graduate (=Ph.D.) students. I don't know how you would say that in USian terminology. I'm always confused by what you guys mean by "graduate" and that sort of thing.

Pythagorean
Gold Member

First four years is undergrad, you got a degree for your subject (called a bachelors degree) which basically says you have the breadth of the field. You're qualified to assisting in teaching and reasearch in exchange for tuition at that point and you are working on a masters thesis (or skipping the masters and straight to phd)

Ie yer a graduate. Once you get your phd, you're a "post doc"

dextercioby
Homework Helper

The American system for me is also a enigma (minor, major, under, over graduate...confusing), because I happen to live 10'000 km away. The level of QFT courses difers from one college to another and the books reccomended as back up material difer as well. In Romania, we've adopted the EU Bologna system which means 3 years undergraduate + 2 years master's degree + 3 years PhD. QFT is taught in the master courses alongside other advanced courses like renormalization of QCD and E_Weak, advanced gravity.

jtbell
Mentor

I think in Europe generally, the bachelor's degree program starts out at a higher level than in the US. Students tend to learn more at the secondary level (what we call "high school" in the US) in Europe than in the US. So someone entering university in Europe is at about the same level as a student beginning the second year of university in the US.

Fredrik
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

Thanks for the explanation. Here we have a "magisterexamen" (which is translated to master) after 3.5 years of courses and 0.5 years of writing a thesis. There's also a "kandidatexamen" (translated to bachelor) which I think is 3 years total, 0.25 of which is writing the thesis. There's also a "civilingengörsexamen" (civil engineer) that takes 4.5 years total.

We seem to use the terms graduate and post doc the same. The main difference seems to be when you're done with the bachelor and master degrees. I suspect that we get into the somewhat more difficult stuff earlier than in the USA, and that our people with bachelor and master degrees are still less educated than people with the same degrees in other countries.

Avodyne

You can download a draft copy of the book for free from Srednicki's web site and see for yourself.

He says that
In order to be prepared to undertake the study of quantum field theory, you should recognize and understand the following equations:

$$\smash{{d\sigma\over d\Omega}} = |f(\theta,\phi)|^2$$

$$a^\dagger |n\rangle = \sqrt{n{+}1}\,|n{+}1\rangle$$

$$J_\pm|j,m\rangle = \sqrt{\smash{j(j{+}1){-}m(m{\pm}1)}\vphantom{1}}\,|j,m{\pm}1\rangle$$

$$A(t) = e^{+iHt/\hbar}\!A e^{-iHt/\hbar}$$

$$H=p\dot q - L$$

$$ct' = \gamma(ct-\beta x)$$

$$E = ({\vec p}^2 c^2 + m^2c^4)^{1/2}$$

$${\vec E} = -\dot{\vec A}/c - \nabla\varphi$$

This list is not, of course, complete; but if you are familiar with these equations, you probably know enough about quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, special relativity, and electromagnetism to tackle the material in this book.