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Need Advice on self-learning particle physics

  1. Oct 23, 2008 #1
    I plan to study particle physics especially about the quantum field theory but i don't know how to start with.

    I have studied mechanics,modern physics,electromagnetism using Serway Physics for Sciencetist and Engineers.I have also studied Waves and Vibrations using H.J Paind Book and also French book.I have studied Thermodynamics using Zemansky book.

    I have study calculus using Thomas Calculus and Stewart Calculus ,Complex analysis, linear algebra , vector calculus and Ordinary Differential Equations using Advance Engineering Mathematics by Kreyszig.

    So what is the next thing should i study? Please suggest some good books for me.
    Besides,do my current knowledge enough for studying theoretical classical mechanics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2008 #2
    Try "Particles and Nuclei: An Introduction to the Physical Concepts" by Povh et al. I am sure you can find it somewhere on the internet.
  4. Nov 2, 2008 #3
    What math book should i read before learning quantum field theory?
  5. Nov 2, 2008 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa!!

    Serway is a freshman level physics book. QFT is normally taught to second-year graduate students. You are not going to make up four years of full-time education by reading one book.
  6. Nov 2, 2008 #5
    I am not meaning to read only one book. But i don't know what maths books should i read before reading the book about quantum fields theory.Someone can suggest a series of book that i should read in sequence in order to learn QFT
  7. Nov 2, 2008 #6
    Okay, so I'll give it a try:

    At first you should be familiar with the methods used in classical mechanics ( Symmetries <-> conserved quantities, Lagrangian Mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics mostly). On books: Goldstein , Budo or Landau Lifgarbagez are good books on that topic.
    You should know the basics of special relativity.
    You should be familiar with classical field theory, here electrodynamics is the classic prototype. Jackson is a very comprehensive book on that topic, but there probably better books.
    Quantum Mechanics is extremely important in order to study QFT, good books are shankar, messiah, cohen-tannoudji , sakurai and landau-lifgarbagez. Shankar is a nice introduction. Messiah and Cohen Tannoudji are good references. Sakurai and Landau Lifgarbagez are good in order to delve deeper into the topic.
    Picking up a basic knowledge about particle and nuclear physics is a good idea in order to get an intuition about the topic. Books on that would be the one by Brian R. Martin or Perkins.
    That's the physics side.

    You need quite a bit of math to really successful study QFT. I would assume a basic knowledge in linear algebra and real analysis (on the usual level one learns during a bachelor's degree).
    A book which I really recommend is Analysis by Lieb and Loss, it's not important in order to learn QFT, it's an Analysis book written by mathematical physicists, there are lot of points covered which physicists usually sweep under the rug. There are a few chapters on distributions, which are used quite often in QFT, so it's a good idea to get some knowledge about the math that lies behind it.
    Some knowledge on Complex Analysis is very important.
    There is a nice free ebook on complex analysis by george cain from georgia tech.
    A bit of knowledge about functional analysis in the context of physics could be handy but isn't mandatory.
    The book by Reed and Simon is a good introduction to that for physicists.

    Now we come to the most important part, QFT:
    As an introduction I would suggest the book by Mark Srednicki (it's available online on his homepage).
    Other good introductory books include Peskin-Schroeder, Ryder, Zee.
    As a reference I would recommend the book series by Stephen Weinberg.
    In parallel to studying QFT it's a good idea to pick up something about Lie-Groups and their representations. (They are the most important ingredient in order to construct a QFT)
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