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Studying QED

  1. Jan 2, 2006 #1
    As far as I know QED is taught at the graduate level. However, how many physics students end up taking courses on it? Is it standard to take courses on QED or is it only out of interest, or "need"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2006 #2


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    "Standard" for whom? Typically graduate courses tend to be much narrower focused than undergraduate courses. A person taking a Ph.D. program who was planning to write a dissertation on, say, relativity, might not take a course in Quantum Electro Dynamics. Although, I suspect, it's connections with string theory might make it popular enough right now that many would.
  4. Jan 2, 2006 #3
    Well, I don't know much about grad school. From what you've said I guess there's no "standard" course selection (like everyone taking undergrad EM at some point).

    So is it correct to say you'd only take QED if it was needed for your dissertation, or out of interest (if you can do that?).
  5. Jan 2, 2006 #4


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    Policies surely vary from one grad school to another. At U of Michigan in the late 1970s, all first- and second-year grad students took pretty much the same "basic" courses. I don't remember if they were formally required, or simply "customary". I remember taking one semester of classical mechanics (Goldstein), two semesters of E&M (Jackson), one semester of thermo & stat mech (don't remember which book), and three semesters of QM. The first two semesters were non-relativistic QM (Merzbacher), and the third was relativistic QM and QED (Sakurai and Bjorken/Drell). Or maybe it was one semester non-relativistic and two semesters relativistic/QED.

    Then there were higher-level electives focusing on specific topics. The choice varied from year to year depending on who was interested in teaching what.
  6. Jan 2, 2006 #5

    Dr Transport

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    When I went to grad school, we took essentially the same courses mentined by jtbell, with the exception of the 3rd semester of qm and qed. If you were going into particle or nuclear theory you took it, if not you didn't. When I went back for my PhD, the school I went to didn't have anyone on the faculty who could teach a course in QED, so even relativistic qm wasn't taught.
  7. Jan 3, 2006 #6

    George Jones

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    When I was a grad student, Ph.D. course requirements included 2 semesters of advanced quantum mechanics, and 3 of: 2 semesters of field theory; 2 semesters of statistical mechanics; 1 semester of particle physics. Course content varied from year to year. The texts used when I took these courses were:

    Advanced Quantum Mechanics I - Quantum Mechanics VII, Messiah
    Advanced Quantum Mechanics II - Quantum Electrodynamics, Berestetskii, Lift****z, and Pitaevskii
    Statistical Mechanics I, II - Statistical Mechanics, Pathria
    Field theory I, II - ostensibly Ryder, but lecture notes for II were based on Raymond
    Particle Physics - none

  8. Jan 3, 2006 #7
    Have you got ebook about Feyman's Quantum electro dynamic ?
    I have a book but it was translated into Vietnamese
    I want to have an ebook about this problem?
    If you have can you give me?
    Thank you
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2006
  9. Jan 3, 2006 #8
    Thanks for the input.
  10. Jan 4, 2006 #9
    You could study le quntum electodynqmics by using the Feynmqn path integrals
  11. Jan 6, 2006 #10
    Can you give me clearly about this problem ? How many ways to approach it?
  12. Jan 6, 2006 #11

    Tom Mattson

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    At my alma mater, QED is trickling down to the undergraduate level. In the second semester of undergrad QM, the Harmonic Oscillator is now treated with creation and annihilation operators (this was not done when I was there), and the course closes with the path integral formulation of QFT. My girlfriend is taking it next semester, and when I saw the syllabus I was surprised and pleased to see the change.
  13. Jan 9, 2006 #12


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    QED can be done using path integrals in a really nice way. Also a noncanonical treatment of the S-matrix is really easy to follow and its applications to QED are immediate.

  14. Jan 9, 2006 #13
    Thank you surely you studied about QED ,Have you got any ebook about it ,I am looking for some ebook ,especial Feyman's book
  15. Jan 9, 2006 #14

    Hans de Vries

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    Warren Siegel's: FIELDS

    Mark Srednicki: Quantum Field Theory

    Piere van Baal: A COURSE IN FIELD THEORY

    Regards, Hans
  16. Jan 10, 2006 #15
    Thank you Hans de Vries
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