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Non-Relativistic QED

  1. Mar 27, 2014 #1


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    Hello everyone,

    I was hoping to ask you for a good textbook reference on the subject of Non-Relativistic QED.

    I am attending a graduate course which is now covering this topic, but the adopted textbook (G. Baym - Lectures in Quantum Mechanics) is just extremely unsatisfactory! I also tried looking at the content of the classic textbooks for Quantum Mechanics, but apparently when it comes to this branch of the subject very few books provide a thorough treatment.

    Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated! :)

    Thank you very much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2014 #2

    Jano L.

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    Gold Member

    There are very many books that treat this topic but not all of them are very good. Here is the list of sources I think are worth a look, roughly with increasing difficulty:

    You will surely use with advantage this very good book:

    Heald,Marion: Classical Electromagnetic Radiation, 3rd edition, Saunders College Pub., 1995

    It is a classical theory of radiation with topics that are nice to understand before delving into the quantum theory of radiation.

    Great introduction to quantum theory of radiation is contained in the chapter 6. of a great book
    John Slater: Quantum Theory of Atomic Structure, McGraw-Hill 1960;
    If you can't get this one, similar text is also John Slater: Quantum Theory of Matter.

    Very nice book : (do not be scared away by the title, it is theoretical physics):
    Alan Corney: Atomic and Laser Spectroscopy, Oxford University Press, 1977 (2005)

    The following two books I am not too fond of, but they provide useful reference.

    Brief, easy and readable exposition of non-relativistic QT of radiation is in the book

    Craig, Thirunamachandran: Molecular Quantum Electrodynamics, Academic Press, 1984

    but its level is rather basic.

    Quick reference for basic and most common calculations using QT of radiation:
    Sakurai: Advanced quantum mechanics, Addison Wesley (1967)

    More advanced and still very readable is

    Compagno, Passante, Persico: Atom-Field Interactions and Dressed Atoms, Cambridge Univ. Press 1995

    Terse with some gaps but still very juicy and interesting are parts on non-relativistic QT in
    Steven Weinberg:Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, Cambridge University Press 2013, Chap. 9,10,11

    Interesting advanced stuff but kind of messy:
    Millonni P. W.:The Quantum Vacuum An Introduction to Quantum Electrodynamics, Academic Press, 1994

    Beware the theory is not really satisfactory since it uses the idea of point particles with poynting expressions for energy and momentum, which is a logical inconsistency, leads to infinities which is a serious problem. Nevertheless there is a lot to be learned from these books.
  4. Mar 30, 2014 #3


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    Thank you very much Jano L. I will certainly look into these references!
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