Quantum Field Theory Demystified (David McMahon)

In summary: Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult to follow the arguments. In summary, this self-teaching series is not well-written and the author is not very competent. If you are looking for a comprehensive primer on quantum field theory, I would recommend looking elsewhere.
  • #1
squarks
16
0
Hi all,

I bought a book recently of this title. I wanted this one to compliment the field theory book I have already (Peskin and Schroeder) because I find the latter a little hard to follow on my own (I am currently taking Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and will be taking QFT course at some time in the future).

I am always skeptical about these self-teaching series, especially when it comes to quantum field theory. It seems like it goes through all the basic elements of QFT and I can actually read and follow, however there are several obvious typos (such as "charge of strange quark is +2/3") and the author is "a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories".

Does anyone have experience with this book? Should I keep reading, or will I get myself into a whole nonsense about QFT?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #3
Thanks tiny-tim.

It seems obvious that the audience for this book is not someone who wants to rigorously study this field of physics, which is fine since I have Peskin and Schroeder, which is THE book for QFT. As much as his (McMahon) mathematics in the book is not universal and not consistent (I have also noticed his non-conventional notations - perhaps to appeal to undergraduate or hobby physicists), I was hoping that explanations would be more clearer than other books. Now I am skeptical.

Perhaps I will keep reading the book and question everything he states. It may help me learn more efficiently, who knows. I just hoped the publisher would have an errata page associated with this book, there seems to be quite a few typos and general mistakes.
 
  • #4
Unfortunately this typos are not the only errors in this book. There are quite a lot of technical errors in the book. For example the representation of Lorentz' tensor is incorrect in chapter 1. It is also true about current and energy-momentum four-vector. I don't know why, but the author seems to repeat the same error throughout the book.
 
  • #5


I cannot provide a personal opinion on this specific book as I have not read it myself. However, I can offer some general advice when it comes to self-teaching books on complex topics like quantum field theory.

Firstly, it is always important to approach these books with a critical mindset. As you have already noticed, there may be errors or typos that can lead to confusion or misunderstandings. It is important to fact-check and cross-reference information with other reputable sources.

Secondly, while self-teaching books can be a helpful supplement to formal education, they should not be relied upon as the sole source of learning. Quantum field theory is a complex and mathematically rigorous subject, and it is important to have a solid understanding of the underlying principles and equations. A combination of self-study and formal education is often the most effective way to learn complex topics like QFT.

Lastly, it is always beneficial to seek guidance and advice from experts in the field. If you have access to a QFT course or a professor, it would be helpful to consult with them and ask for recommended resources or clarification on confusing concepts.

In summary, while self-teaching books can be a useful tool, it is important to approach them critically and supplement your learning with other resources and guidance from experts in the field.
 

Related to Quantum Field Theory Demystified (David McMahon)

1. What is quantum field theory?

Quantum field theory is a theoretical framework that combines principles from quantum mechanics and special relativity to describe the behavior of particles and fields at a subatomic level. It is a fundamental theory in physics that explains the interactions between particles and their underlying fields, such as the electromagnetic field or the Higgs field.

2. Why is quantum field theory important?

Quantum field theory is important because it provides a mathematical framework for understanding the behavior of particles at the most fundamental level. It has successfully predicted and explained many phenomena in particle physics, and is essential for the development of theories such as the Standard Model and quantum electrodynamics.

3. What is the difference between quantum field theory and quantum mechanics?

Quantum field theory is an extension of quantum mechanics, which describes the behavior of particles at a macroscopic level. While quantum mechanics deals with individual particles, quantum field theory treats particles as excitations of underlying fields. In other words, quantum field theory takes into account the interactions between particles and their surrounding fields.

4. Is quantum field theory difficult to understand?

Quantum field theory can be a challenging concept to grasp, as it involves complex mathematical equations and abstract concepts. However, with the right resources and dedication, it is possible for individuals to gain a basic understanding of the theory and its principles.

5. How can "Quantum Field Theory Demystified" help me understand quantum field theory?

"Quantum Field Theory Demystified" is a comprehensive guidebook that breaks down the concepts of quantum field theory into easily understandable chunks. It provides step-by-step explanations, examples, and practice problems to help readers gain a solid understanding of the theory. It also includes real-world applications and historical context to make the subject more relatable and engaging.

Similar threads

  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
1
Views
756
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
3
Views
971
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
0
Views
746
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
1
Views
384
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
5
Views
1K
Back
Top