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Quasi-Mathematical Books on Various Topics in Modern Physics.

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Can someone provide me with a quasi-mathematical introductory text to quantum field theory ? Ideally, a book that's somewhere between popular science and an introductory freshman physics text.
I have a strong background in calculus, having just completed a one-semester equivalent reading of R.Shankar's quantum mechanics, so I'm more than comfortable with the math. Nevertheless, I'm looking for something that won't take me months to complete, and isn't formal or heavy, while still retaining all the conceptual clarity of a more advanced text.
Also, I'm looking for similar books on Special and General relativity, Nuclear physics, and Particle physics.
Appreciate all the help. Thanks in advance.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
UltrafastPED
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John Polkinghorne wrote two:

The Quantum World (1985)
Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (2002)

I've read the first one, but both get fine reviews.
 
  • #3
Thanks. Know of anything similar in other topics of modern physics ?
 
  • #4
atyy
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Non-relativistic QFT makes its appearance in condensed matter physics. Since there it is equivalent to the Schroedinger equation for many identical particles, it may be a good way to go from Shankar to QFT. Re-expressing Schroedinger's equation for many identical particles as a non-relativistic QFT is called "second quantization". See eg https://archive.org/details/ColemanAnEvolvingMonogramOnManyBodyPhysicsFreescience996Year2010 [Broken]
 
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  • #5
Demystifier
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For a non-technical introduction to QFT see
K. Huang, Fundamental Forces of Nature: The Story of Gauge Fields

Soon the book
Nancaster, Blundell: Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur
will also be published, but I haven't seen it yet so I cannot recommend it.
 
  • #6
Demystifier
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Thanks. Know of anything similar in other topics of modern physics ?
For a semi-technical exposition of all fundamental physics and mathematics I strongly recommend the great book:
R. Penrose, The Road to Reality: A complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
 
  • #7
Demystifier
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John Polkinghorne wrote two:

The Quantum World (1985)
Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (2002)

I've read the first one, but both get fine reviews.
These are good books, but perhaps below the wanted level because they are purely popular books, without equations. And they are not about quantum field theory.
 
  • #8
Just what I was looking for. Thanks a ton Demystifier. :)
 
  • #9
dextercioby
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For a gentle introduction to QFT I recommend the particle physics books by David Griffiths. A wealth of information to learn and no mathematical subtleties.
 
  • #10
WannabeNewton
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Can someone provide me with a quasi-mathematical introductory text to quantum field theory ? Ideally, a book that's somewhere between popular science and an introductory freshman physics text.
Lol?
 
  • #11
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For relativity, I'd say: Taylor and Wheeler, "Spacetime Physics".
 
  • #12
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  • #13
Demystifier
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For relativity, I'd say: Taylor and Wheeler, "Spacetime Physics".
That's good for special relativity, but it doesn't say much about general relativity.

To fill this gap, the same authors have also written another book at a similar level:
Taylor, Wheeler: Exploring Black Holes - Introduction to General Relativity
 
  • #14
Demystifier
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Just yesterday I received a book "From Special Relativity to Feynman Diagrams" with a subtitle A Course of Theoretical Particle Physics for Beginners
and from the very first cursory skimming thorough it I can say it might be of interest to you
sources:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8847015030/?tag=pfamazon01-20
or
http://www.springer.com/physics/quantum+physics/book/978-88-470-1503-6
Btw, I've got a huge discount for an e-book format of the springer book.
Like Griffiths (which someone mentioned above), this is an introductory textbook with a lot of mathematical details a student needs to learn. So perhaps this is not what he is looking for.

A nice unusual feature of this particle-physics textbook is that it also contains a chapter on general relativity.
 
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