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Quantum Quantum Field Theory books for undergraduates

  1. Dec 28, 2016 #1
    Hello, I would appreciate it if someone would suggest some Quantum Field Theory books that an advanced undergraduate could read.
    Thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2016 #2

    vanhees71

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    My favorite at the moment is

    M. D. Schwartz, Quantum field theory and the Standard Model, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, 2014.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2016 #3
    Is it suitable for somebody who has finished two courses on Quantum Mechanics, a course on Electromagnetism and a course on Special and General Relativity and also a lot of math courses?
     
  5. Dec 28, 2016 #4

    ZapperZ

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    This is not really a QFT text, but it gives you a very good intro to Feynman diagrams and its application to many-body physics (to counter the earlier suggestion of QFT and its application to particle physics). It is suitable for the background that you stared, provided that you have done Second Quantization in your QM course.

    Richard Mattuck "A Guide To Feynman Diagram In Many-Body Problem"

    And the best part of this is that it is a Dover book, so it is dirt cheap!

    Zz.
     
  6. Dec 28, 2016 #5

    vanhees71

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    This is very well sufficient. Note that I recommended a book about relativistic Quantum Field Theory and high-energy particle theory. @ZaferZ 's book is about non-relativistic QFT, and it's a very good one too. For this purpose, there's also

    A. L. Fetter and J. D. Walecka, Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1971.

    and
    J. W. Negele and H. Orland, Quantum Many-Particle Systems, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Redwood City, Calif., 1987.

    Of course, many techniques and calculational tools (including Feynman diagrams) occur in both applications of QFT, i.e., relativistic high energhy particle physics (mostly vacuum QFT to evaluate S-matrix elements of scattering processes) and many-body theory (non-relativistic for all kinds of condensed-matter physics and relativistic in relativistic heavy-ion collisions).
     
  7. Dec 28, 2016 #6

    ShayanJ

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    The book suggested by vanhees71 is nice, but I also want to suggest the book below:
    Lancaster & Blundell, Quantum Field Theory for Gifted Amateur
     
  8. Dec 28, 2016 #7

    atyy

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    It's a really nice book, and in fact it also treats second quantization very clearly - the only problem is that second quantization is presented late in the book, but one can read it out of order.
     
  9. Dec 28, 2016 #8

    Demystifier

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    Another vote for Lancaster and Blundell (for conceptual understanding), together with
    Greiner and Reinhardt - Field Quantization (for detailed pedagogic derivations).

    Schwartz, in my opinion, is too comprehensive for a first introduction to QFT.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  10. Dec 28, 2016 #9
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    What about Zee's Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell? I used his gravitation book and I liked it very much.
     
  11. Dec 28, 2016 #10

    George Jones

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    I think that Zee's book "Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell" is better for learning GR that his book "Quantum Theory in a Nutshell" is for learning quantum field theory.
     
  12. Dec 28, 2016 #11
    Could you please explain the reason for this?
     
  13. Dec 28, 2016 #12

    dextercioby

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    Zee's book is a mess, except for some 3-4 valuable insights (graviton propagator, gravitational interactions of 2 light rays). I think he wrote a group theory book last year which also received plenty bad reviews. Apparently only his GR book seems ok. Until now it's 1-2, or 33% OK. One certainly doesn't need a book on QM from him.
     
  14. Dec 28, 2016 #13
    But its goodreads rating is pretty good though: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/153916.Quantum_Field_Theory_in_a_Nutshell
     
  15. Dec 28, 2016 #14

    dextercioby

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    You can judge a book thoroughly only by comparing it to others. I would not put Zee's book ahead of Ryder's, Ramond's and even in the path-integral section it's still behind Bailin & Love. Calculations are never spelled out for the reader.
    Chapters 5 and 6 of Zee's book are a distraction to the reader and they are follwed by an-ill prepared overview of the BtSM physics.
     
  16. Dec 28, 2016 #15

    atyy

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    What is nice about Lancaster and Blundell and Schwartz is that they give good explanations of WIlson's effective theory viewpoint of renormalization.

    Zee's QFT book is very interesting after one has learnt QFT, not so much before.

    An old book that is very good for learning the basics of QFT is Mandl and Shaw. I first learnt QFT from Mandl and Shaw and from Mattuck. However, like many old books, neither Mandl and Shaw nor Mattuck explain QFT using Wilson's viewpoint (Mattuck doesn't need it since he is doing condensed matter - Wilson's insight was that relativistic field theory is really like condensed matter field theory). Even Schwartz puts the Wilson's view late in his book, preferring to stress calculations first. The Wilsonian viewpoint is a very important conceptual advance that was not known when Feynman, Schwinger, Tomonaga etc worked out renormalization. The Wilsonian viewpoint is also important for theories that may not be effective theories, since it also is a good for understanding asymptotic freedom and asymptotic safety.
     
  17. Dec 28, 2016 #16

    ShayanJ

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    If Wilson's viewpoint is equivalent to renormalization group, then Mattuck's last chapter covers it. Otherwise I like to know what is Wilson's viewpoint!
     
  18. Dec 29, 2016 #17

    atyy

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    I don't think it has Wilson's reonormalization group. Wilson's renormalization group has, in a sense, no new equations, and is the same as the old Gell Mann and Low renormalization group. It's mainly interpretation :P

    https://quantumfrontiers.com/tag/renormalization-group/
     
  19. Dec 29, 2016 #18

    Demystifier

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    Zee's book is a mess for a first QFT textbook, but is full of valuable insights after you already learned this stuff from a proper textbook. Concerning particular insights, I like very much how he explained the physical idea of renormalization through a dialogue between a theoretician, an experimentalist, and a confused student.
     
  20. Dec 29, 2016 #19

    Demystifier

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  21. Dec 29, 2016 #20

    vanhees71

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    Zee's book is among the few books I explicitly advise against to being used as a textbook to learn QFT. It's very superficial. Instead of packing only the essential part into the nutshell and treat this carefully Zee tries to explain too many topics without working any one out at the necessary detail.
     
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