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Quantum Fields and Strings: A Course for Mathematicians

  1. Aug 26, 2011 #1
    Has anyone here read Quantum Fields and Strings: A Course for Mathematicians vol 1 and/or vol 2? I was thinking about trying to tackle them but I'm unsure of what the mathematical prerequisites for doing so are.

    My background is in physics, but I have taken courses on differential geometry and Lie groups and Lie algebras from a maths department, so I have some (but not much) familiarity with pure maths.

    If anyone has some advice about what the prereqs are for reading these books it would be much appreciated thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2011 #2
    I've never read it, but there's a copy in our library, and the introduction says: "For the most part this is physics written by mathematicians for mathematicians (read: the blind leading the blind). For that reason, throughout these volumes we have assumed without reference standard mathematical facts which are covered in textbooks and other literature. On the other hand, some very basic concepts in physics are explained. Certainly we did not attempt to explain everything, and the reader is well-advised to learn/review standard topics like special relativity, classical electromagnetism, etc. One basic prerequisite is a familiarity with at least the general framework of quantum mechanics."

    And thumbing through it, I suspect that when they say it is for mathematicians, they mean PhD's, or at least advanced graduate students. It looks like it is a record of a series of graduate seminars, rather than a textbook.
  4. Aug 27, 2011 #3
    Thanks brocks, I was afraid that would be the case when they jumped straight into category theory in the first chapter. I think I'll have to put this book on the back burner for now. Thanks again for you reply.
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