The Conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0199573264
ISBN-10: 0199573263
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Review from previous edition: "This is not your average quantum field theory book. Duncan provides a new perspecetive on the field, emphasising a number of conceptual and technical aspects that are usually brushed conveniently under the carpet. This should be high on the reading list of any serious researcher." --David Tong, University of Cambridge

About the Author


Anthony Duncan is Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199573263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199573264
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R_squared on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must-have book for all serious students of
relativistic quantum field theory. The author Anthony H.
Duncan is a professor in the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
at the University of Pittsburgh known for his research on quantum chromodynamics. He has produced a magnificent volume on the conceptual ideas that underlie the most accurate description of microscopic reality we have. It will be of
immense value to graduate students, working physicists, and
even some philosophers of science.
The book is divided into four parts. The first is a short history of QFT starting with Planck's work on blackbody radiation through the contributions of Jordan, Dirac, Pauli,
Heisenberg, etc. up to the Shelter Island conference. The second part presents the foundations of the theory as derived
from quantum mechanics, special relativity, and the clustering
property. Here the influence of Steven Weinberg is clearly seen. Prof. Duncan was a student of Weinberg and his book can
be viewed as a useful companion to Weinberg's three volume
text. There are some minor differences in conventions : Duncan
uses the Minkowski metric with diag(1,-1,-1,-1), etc.
The climax of the second part is the insightful chapter 9
on the general aspects of interacting fields including Haag-Ruelle scattering theory and the LSZ formalism. The perturbative formulation is discussed in chapter 10 where path
-integral methods are introduced and an explanation is given
of why one may ignore the implications of Haag's Theorem.
Chapter 11 presents " perturbatively non-perturbative " processes - threshold bound states via the Bethe-Salpeter equation.
The third part of the book is devoted to symmetries in field theory.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When one engages in the learning of quantum field theory it is easy to be amazed by what typically can be a collection of mathematical tricks can result in such unprecedented agreement with experiments. At the same time, there are many aspects of the subject that can be troubling to both the physicist and the mathematician alike. Physicists can be troubled by the typically abstract nature of quantum field theory while mathematicians can be annoyed by the constructions that are not defined rigorously. These concerns have instigated an enormous amount of research and many questions still remain to be answered in quantum field theory. It is a very active field of research and no doubt this will be the case for years to come.

Some of the questions that are frequently asked by those first learning quantum field theory and even experienced researchers include:

1. What is really the meaning of Haag's theorem in terms of the interaction picture in quantum field theory?

2. Why is cluster decomposition important and should it be considered on the same level as for example the requirement of Lorentz invariance? Can cluster decomposition be established without using the creation-annihilation operator formalism (so-called "second quantization")? The author views cluster decomposition as being responsible for most of the interesting phenomena in quantum field theory, and Lorentz invariance as being a kind of incidental side constraint. This is an interesting comment and many who have learned quantum field theory (such as the reviewer) have not found this emphasis on cluster decomposition in other texts and monographs on quantum field theory.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By QuantumGravity on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book in clarifying subtly/history in QFT which had been lost/unseen in most discussions. It would nicer if the author skip the part in supersymmetry and add more weights to canonical quantization and compare with path integral formalism.
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