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Recommend Intro to QFT Book?

  1. Aug 28, 2009 #1

    referframe

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    Can anybody recommend a good introduction to QFT book? I'm looking for something that just barely classifies as a text book, with lots of tutorial verbiage between the equations. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2009 #2
    McMahon's QFT Demystified is pretty good. Very cursory. Then from there the usual next-step is Zee's QFT in a nutshell. You still actually have to know the math of course. But it is much more hand-holdy than a standard graduate text.
     
  4. Aug 28, 2009 #3
    The book "Quantum Field Theory" by Claude Itzykson and Jean-Bernard Zuber is one of the best introductory books on this subject.
     
  5. Aug 28, 2009 #4
    As part of my post-mid-life crisis, I'm renewing my decades-old interest in physics. I've given up on actual "Intro to QFT" books, because it seems like there is always some point, whether in the first chapter or the second or the third, where I suddenly go from understanding everything to understanding nothing.

    So now I'm reading "Introduction to Elementary Particles" by David Griffiths, which is properly speaking a pre-QFT book, but I just love the explanations in the text. He has anticipated many common misconceptions, and writes very clearly about the concepts behind the mathematics. Griffiths is my recommendation if you have tried introductory QFT books and been disappointed.
     
  6. Aug 29, 2009 #5
    The only way to satisfy yourself is to be able to the computations. Only if you can manipulate the concepts you may have the opportunity to form your own understanding. Itzykson & Zuber, Weinberg, Peskin & Schroeder, even Zee, they all have exercises. Weinberg is worth having because it's fairly different. Canonical quantisation is postponed to the 7th chapter. I also love Ramond's Primers books.
     
  7. Aug 29, 2009 #6
  8. Aug 29, 2009 #7

    Landau

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Aug 29, 2009 #8
    I do not claim objectivity, because I did learn QFT by myself using Weinberg for almost 2 years in the evenings. But I'd like to say, really understanding QFT will amount to pulling a teeth, no matter how. Much latter, when I was being taught QFT in school for a short 6 months, the other students kept being confused. QFT is hard, and can not be learnt in 6 months. The notation in Weinberg is difficult, because it is rigorous, and it requires attention at every line to think of the objects manipulated. What's great about Weinberg is that you can not read Weinberg and say "hold on, why could it not be different ?". The axioms are rigorously spelled out and details derivations are included.

    If you know you will undergo QFT in school, and if you have 2 years to study in advance, go for Weinberg. The average grade in my class turned out like 7 points on a 20 rank. I scored 19.5 because I studied in advance.
     
  10. Aug 29, 2009 #9

    Landau

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    @humanino: I will undergo QFT, and have 1 year in advance. So I'll try to make some time free to take a look at Weinberg :) Question: did your class use Weinberg as the (prescribed) textbook?
     
  11. Aug 29, 2009 #10
    No. We used Peskin & Schroeder. It is really a reference in the academic world.
     
  12. Sep 1, 2009 #11

    George Jones

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    I second this for what referframe wants. Unfortunately, the LOOK INSIDE feature at amazon.com only gives a table of contents for the first volume of the two-volume set. For a table of contents of the second volume, see

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0750309504/ref=sib_rdr_dp.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Sep 2, 2009 #12
    I would highly recommend Srednicki's book on quantum field theory. I've used both this and Peskin's book when learning QFT. They both are excellent. Zee's book, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, is nice if you want something that reads more like a novel.
     
  14. Sep 3, 2009 #13
    I recently got Greiner's Field Quantization, and it looks very good so far. The focus is narrower than most books. There are many detailed worked exercises.
     
  15. Sep 4, 2009 #14

    referframe

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    Thank you all for the great recommendations. I'm going to start with Zee's Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell. Several user reviews said that mathematicians would like this book, that Zee's mathematics is rigorous and clearly explained. This works for me since my formal education was in math, not in physics. Also, it is reasonably priced.
     
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