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Recommend an intro. to QTF =)

  1. Jun 26, 2006 #1

    I'm looking for a good introduction to Quantum Field Theory. I will be using what I learn from the book in postgraduate research and need to learn both the maths and concepts of QFT. As for my background in QM you can assume I have read Griffith's "An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics".

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2006 #2

    George Jones

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    The meaning of "postgraduate" changes somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. When people on the east side say "postgraduate", people on the west side should read "graduate".

    You might find https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=123807" to be informative. It starts with a discussion of the prerequisites for quantum field theory, but ends up being mainly about QFT books.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  4. Jun 26, 2006 #3
    Thank you for that link. It seems recommending a book on QFT is not easy. Perhaps if it would be easier to make a recommendation if I say that I only need to learn QED?

  5. Jun 26, 2006 #4


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    Maybe you could give us a better idea of your background. I am assuming that you are at ease with quantum mechanics. Have you done a bit of particle physics? Are you familiar with Feynman diagrams (not the proof of where the rules come from, but maybe how to write the expressions for let's say QED diagrmas?).

    As you probably saw in that thread, I have never found any QFT book that I found satisfying. But it's because I have always found that the way books *motivate* the very starting point of quantum field theory (i.e. the quantization of classical fields) is, imho, completely unsatisfying. But, if you are willing to accept a few leaps of faith then you will have passed the hurdle that bothers me personally, and then I would say that there are a few good books around.

    If you want my personal opinion, I would recommend the following (I will not type all the information, if you don't know what book I am talking about give me a shout):

    As a gentle introduction to particle physics and Feynamn diagrams, I still think that Griffiths' book is the best (I wish he would write a QFT book!).

    Then I would highly recommend Aitchison and Hey.

    Then I would suggest to use Peskin and Schroeder and Brian Hatfield's book.

    As I have mentioned in this other thread George gave the link to, I am waiting to receive my copies of Maggiore and Greiner (on Field Quantization. Greiner has also a book on QED specifically. I have his books on QCD, the weak interaction and nuclear models and they are excellent!).
    But George likes Maggiore and it is a book written for undergraduates (if I recall correctly) so that might be an excellent starting point (I will post my critique as soon as I receive it)

    Hope this helps

  6. Jun 27, 2006 #5
    I happened to see the first few chapters of Zee (I am doing QM myself, so I don't have much idea of QFT...) and I found it very interesting. As one of my friends described it, "its an interesting strange introduction"
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