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3.7 out of 5 stars12
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on March 26, 2000
The book's focus is on carefully explaining what quantum field theory is. Starting from classical field theories, ie. the harmonic chain, Greiner goes on to discuss 2nd quantization for spin 0, 1/2, and spin 1 fields. The results are then applied to derive the perturbation expansion for interacting fields. The last sections on quantization with path integrals is also well written, and contains more details than eg. Sakurai. Throughout, many (sometimes tedious, but) instructive examples are presented that lots of other authors just assume to be understood already.
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on July 11, 2001
This book starts with classical field theory and moves on to some simple, but very relevent examples of nonrelativistic field quantization. Greiner works through all important relativistic system of free particles before a spectactular introduction to Feynman rules via quantum electrodynamics as the primer. The book finishes with a nice introduction to path-integral quantization. This book covers mathematical detail of relativistic field theory in a simple way, making it an excellent introductory text.
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on September 13, 2009
Unfortunately, for this particular printing, I cannot disregard the particulars of the 'physical quality' of the book. (Normally I consider this to be barely worth a mention.) This is the sole origin of my rating, please appreciate this. The rating refers specifically to ISBN-10: 3540780483.

As one other reviewer kindly mentioned, the margins have been screwed up: when you open the book, you can barely (if at all!) read the text next to the inside margin. There's maybe a quarter of an inch (or so) from the text to the point where the pages are bound together. Once you press the book down, laying it completely flat, it is readable. It does still look rather awkward. I decided on keeping the copy, since it is mostly for reference; if you intend to learn the material from this book, it could be actually too distracting/annoying. (Personal preference: if I intended to spend many hours with this book, I would return this copy.) I consider this manner of the publisher, or/and amazon, to be beyond 'an acceptable variation' on the quality of print: customers should have been warned. As the other reviewer nicely says, this is why this printing is so much cheaper than the 'regular' one. (I did not take their advice seriously enough.)

As for the book itself (content), I give it 5 stars without much thinking. If you are a serious student of quantum field theory, this is a most excellent resource. Note that Greiner's whole set of books is organized very differently from many other, still excellent, books on QFT. You'll find that a lot of things that are typical in a 'normal' QFT book, are delegated to other books in Greiner's series; there are three or four other books that may be relevant to a particular purpose that your study of QFT has. (For example, one of them is in fact Greiner's third book on Quantum Mechanics: Special Chapters.) This frees him to present in this volume the material that is more strictly related exactly to what the title is: quantization of fields. Other than this aspect, the book bears every mark of his series: lots (and lots) of very good examples, of many kinds, worked out in good detail. It's a truly good resource. (Please don't give in to a possible temptation to simply 'read through' them. This is not a way to gain command over any material; you want to, and must, *work through* stuff.)

In summary: I very readily recommend Greiner's books, this one included. (As for the purchase value, please appreciate that for a full coverage of a subject you may need multiple volumes.) But as for this particular printing, consider carefully whether you can put up with a very strange physical layout.

As for mine rating the book by its physical appearance: in this case I feel that, unfortunately, I must warn other possible buyers of this very unusual issue. Two stars: this manner of the publisher (or amazon) is unacceptable, and this copy may in fact be unusable for many people; but it is possible to read it. (My friends were appalled; but one of them 'wouldn't mind.')
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on September 20, 2005
There are so many different QFT text books, but this one is of special value:(1) It is a really thorough work, e.g., symmetry principles, path integral, QED, even scalar qed are discussed in detail here! (2) The details are all included, so you will not find something like "it easily follows from..". (3)It introduces everything in a good order. For example, it treats non-relativistic Schrodinger field first before going to the relativistic theories. It has shown that non-relativistic fields permit both boson and fermion rules. From this you can easily see how quantization rules are related to relativity. I am sure you can learn some solid QFT from this book. Of course, I recommend this book along with the standard reference by Peskin-Schroeder, and the lively book by Zee.
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on March 31, 2008
The only reason this copy is 50 dollars cheaper than the other printing of "Field Quantization" is that the manufacturers screwed up the margins, and the inner margin is tiny. Text is obscured, and it is not really usable without great sacrifice.

I'm surprised Amazon even sells this copy. Don't get had.
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on June 4, 2010
I found this book fairly easy to follow. It is well written in terms of teaching the subject because it includes most of the steps for derivations. As a person who only has a good background in quantum mechanics but no background in quantum field theory I was pretty happy reading through the book.

I did not have any problem with the margins, and in fact wrote quite a lot of notes in the large outer margins. Chapter 11 is missing its first page which at first caused me to think 10+ pages were gone because it substituted page 350 for page 337.

Because I don't have time to memorize things, I found myself going back through the book to look for definitions. Everything is well defined before it is used. When ever I ran into a symbol I forgot the meaning of, I could always find it earlier in the book. This is good proof to me the author was careful about how ideas are introduced and combined.

There were only a couple of places where I could not follow a derivation by writing down every step at the time I read the passage. But returning to that place again after finishing the chapter I could finish filling in the steps.

Given the price of most quantum field theory books, this is definitely worth getting just to help with a different point of view on a difficult subject.
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on July 30, 2012
My E&M professor tried recently a very ambitious project: teaching QED as part of graduate-level electrodynamics. So first semester we ran through Jackson, and second semester we marathon-sprinted through this text, getting as far as Feynman diagrams. This book might be slightly too advanced for first-years, but not much so. It is written as an introductory text, to prepare graduate students for the more advanced treatment of QED in the authors' later book.Quantum Electrodynamics

The text is organized very well. The main subject matter is quantum field theory, but this subject is developed through physical examples; uniformly weighted HO chain, Schrodinger wave function, Klein-Gordon field, Dirac field, Mawell field, and then on in to second-quantizations of these. It's a sort of step-by-step process that builds a great basis in the mechanics of field theory with increasingly more complicated examples. It's a great structure.

However, the math is really sloppy. I don't really expect pure mathematical rigor from a physics book (no one should), but the book uses ideas that aren't well-defined; e.g. A functional derivative of a functional of a functional. That is, dF[G[f(x)]]/df(x). Some of the math isn't very well-motivated, either. Maybe it's just the nature of quantum field theory, but a lot of the explanations seem really magical; we do this because it makes the answers work, and that's that. There's a lot of ordering conventions (at least two) that are supposed to make "explicit" infinities disappear (which they're still there) and the only motivation for them is to avoid infinities. At some point, it becomes more a kind of hieroglyphics with a particular grammar, as opposed to a field of mathematics. Again, that may be the nature of QED, but the lack of mathematical rigor or meaning is very apparent from the way math is handled in the book.

While the math is sloppy, the physics isn't. The physical meaning of the equations is the important issue to the authors of the book, afterall, and it is explained very well. The organizational structure helps very much to build up to the advanced subjects of interacting photon and electron fields in a relativistic framework. Reference is made to classical mechanics and to "classical" quantum mechanics, and from there establishes a relativistic picture. It is very straightforward and confusion is minimal.

Sometimes, I felt there was a lack of clarification in some things. Only things like skipped steps or poor motivations, or maybe translational ambiguities. Some statements were not as self-evident as they seemed to the authors. This was not enough to obscure the subject, whose results are still clearly presented.

The price is another factor to consider. It's somewhere around ~$20, and delivers a LOT of book for that itsy bitsy price. I felt a deep joy in being assigned a textbook that cost me less than dinner out, and delivered an approachable wealth of knowledge on a very advanced subject. I'd recommend grad students or PhDs interested in field theory buy it. It's a great way to get your feet on the ground in the subject.

Given how low the price, this might seem attractive for self-study or as a supplementary reference work. If you like owning your own reference books, this would be a good one to get. If you're taking a more advanced course on QED and find yourself stuck, this might bring the subject on a more intuitive level to get you started. As to self-study, I don't know how useful this would be. There aren't a lot of problems, which is essential to self-study.

Overall, I give the book 4 stars. I can't entirely blame it for the sloppiness of the math, and it doesn't pretend to be a math text, but the math is really sloppy. The price, though, more than makes up for poor form in mathematics, especially for those more concerned with the big physical picture and not the formal minutiae.

After writing the above review, I read some of the others and noticed they complain about the margins. To be perfectly honest, I never even noticed there was anything fishy about the margins. There's a lot of space on the outside of the pages, but I assumed that was for notes. I went back and looked at my book, and sure enough the text runs right to where the seams meet. Everything is still legible, and as I said, I used this book a whole semester and never noticed; but if it will bother you, maybe another printing? The text itself, regardless of printing issues, is fantastic, and I didn't find the printing issues even noticeable.
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on April 28, 2013
People starting serious study of the subject, relevant to all branches of modern physical theory, need a detailed introduction, specially concerning the calculations involved. This is something I feel comfortable to say, being a non-specialist in field theory. The book, written by senior researchers, is fortunate to be suitable even for self-study. For these reasons, I think the book is worth five stars. Of course no one can study quantum field theory without a minimum ground in classical and quantum mechanics, at the levels of Goldstein's and Sakurai's books, respectively, as well as in classical electrodynamics, as in Barut's text. There are also suitable and well written books by the authors in these needed prerequisite subjects. But perhaps the book, or at least its introductory chapters, can be read by a well-trained undergraduate, even in brazilian conditions, if proper supervising is provided. The book seems a perfect choice for general graduate study curricula in Physics.
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on October 18, 2014
Great book but poor printing.
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on May 11, 2013
The content is great as expected, but the edition itself is really messed up: the inner margin is tiny, you won't be able, for instance, to mark the end of some sentences at all. When reading, you'll have to adapt to the book needs (open and hold it hard, turning the book so you can read it better, etc). That's a pain when you are focused on some concept and want to check other references together. In my very humble opinion, the seller should notify it somewhere in the product details, as I feel disappointed for buying a book that seems to be an editorial mistake. Having a low cost is not an excuse for this. I also point out that other people complained about this problem.

Regarding the content, it's a great book. If you have access (through your library, for instance) to other references as Mandl & Shaw and Peskin & Schroeder, I'd suggest you buy this one. I believe other people have written very accurate reviews on the content. Everything else (delivery, packaging) was simply perfect.
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