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Courses Suggestions about books for Theoretical physics master course

  1. Sep 17, 2010 #1
    Hello. I am enrolled for this year in the theoretical physics master offered by ecole normal superieure in paris. It is an enormous task to pull off and so I need (and beg) some advise to speed up my progress from the most knowledgable of the lot. So I completed a five year course in mathematics, physics, engineering and computing (in NTU Athens, mainly the first two fields of course), emphasis in theory (last year had primer courses in groups, rel QM, field theories, gen rel, langrangian mech).

    {Important: I appreciate anyone willing to help but I really need information suitable for a compact fast update (and refresh) of knowledge for someone taking up a serious master in theoretical physics, the aim is to follow my courses with less trouble, in a couple of weeks time. So please no generic answers like search up Weinberg for fields or read Georgi for some help with Lie in particles.}

    Right, ok and I have to really get up to date fast with these topics (the teachers are not taking all of them for granted but they are not exactly taking their time with them) :

    -Hamiltonian, Langrangian formalism. Going fast past classical mechanics-quantum mechanics and taking up field theories, with some insight if possible (consise, compact intermediate to advanced level)

    -Lorentz, Poincare groups, spinor representations . Not the full machinery of spinors, what is required of a first course (serious one) in field theory (eg Peskin-Schroeder level). I want the important results and theorems (important represantations, homomorphisms etc)

    -An sos crash course (tutorial one would say) on functional derivatives, integrals (also invloving diagonalising matrices of functions etc)

    -Green's functions (and solving differential equations with them)

    -path integrals

    No time for a full functional analysis course although I wish I had already taken one...

    I am looking for lecture notes, or seminar notes or even books(although that is easy to find but I don't have time to study a let's say 500 pages book on functional analysis) if they are fast moving and give me some essential tools to get going. I am not interested in mathematical rigor at this point since solving,solving,solving is the idea for the next 3-4 months and not much time for in depth insight (I am sure some of you get the point)

    I am also looking for books with problems (including at least some solved ones) in any of this topics
    -Statistical physics in FT
    -Particle physics (standard model and beyond including supersymmetry)
    -Group theory in field theories

    I am asking a lot I know, and probably a lot of people have dug themselves out by slowly collecting this information, but any help wil be much appreciated and I am planning to make a list of all this essential topics for theory usually not mastered by someone after a first degree (yes five years was my first degree, put a lot of experimental work there )
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2010 #2


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    Gold Member

    Just a tip, it doesn't matter how much time it took you to graduate, and from the topics youv'e covered I will also say it's quite normal to graduate within 5 years, it's all about the knowledge youv'e gained and genuinely understood, if it takes more time then be it.

    As for textbooks on QFT and advanced QM, I use the two classic textbooks by Bjorken and Drell, and I also have two textbooks for solved exercises, one by atkinson:

    and another textbook by michel maggiore.

    Good Luck!
    and don't be nervous.
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