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Introduction to Elementary Particles Paperback – October 13, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-3527406012 ISBN-10: 3527406018 Edition: 2nd
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Editorial Reviews


?I?d recommend this book to anyone in the field and anyone lecturing in it. It?s wonderful. Reading any section will always yield insights, and you can?t go wrong with Griffiths as a guide.? ( Times Higher Education Supplement, December 2009)

?A clearly written textbook balancing intuitive understanding and mathematical rigour, emphasizing elementary particle theory.? (Reviews, May 2009)

From the Back Cover

In the second, revised edition of a well-established textbook, the author strikes a balance between quantitative rigor and intuitive understanding, using a lively, informal style. The first chapter provides a detailed historical introduction to the subject, while subsequent chapters offer a quantitative presentation of the Standard Model. A simplified introduction to the Feynman rules, based on a "toy" model, helps readers learn the calculational techniques without the complications of spin. It is followed by accessible treatments of quantum electrodynamics, the strong and weak interactions, and gauge theories. New chapters address neutrino oscillations and prospects for physics beyond the Standard Model. The book contains a number of worked examples and many end-of-chapter problems. A complete solution manual is available for instructors.

- Revised edition of a well-established text on elementary particle physics
- With a number of worked examples and many end-of-chapter problems
- Helps the student to master the Feynman rules
- Solution manual available for instructors

David Griffiths is Professor of Physics at the Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After obtaining his PhD in elementary particle theory at Harvard, he taught at several colleges and universities before joining the faculty at Reed in 1978. He specializes in classical electrodynamics and quantum mechanics as well as elementary particles, and has written textbooks on all three subjects.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 470 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-VCH; 2nd edition (October 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3527406018
  • ISBN-13: 978-3527406012
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By J. MOLDOVAN on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is possibly the best textbook on any subject that I have ever read. And when I say read I mean cover to cover, several times! (The book is now so shabby and food stained that I'm thinking of buying another copy.) The previous reviews have said it all but I want to summarize some quick points.

1. The footnotes and references are in a class of their own. You MUST read them to get full value. They contain a wealth of critical information.

2. The narrative style and method of explanation in this book makes me feel as though David Griffith is talking one-on-one to me alone. In my opinion he is peerless as a teacher!

3. The ability of this text to present some of the most complex mathematical material in an a simple, accessible and meaningful way using ordinary, jargon free language is just amazing. Of course particle physics is never going to be simple in laymen's terms but the ability to simplify the difficult ideas it contains as much as possible is critical for a student.

4. The ability of David Griffiths to make the subject - even at its most formal and driest points - exciting and alive is a rare and special skill.

5. The problems posed at the end of each section are the gateway to true understanding. They are clear, practical, have a definite educational purpose and are often fun to solve as well.

5. If you are affiliated with a university or other teaching institution and can get hold of the Solutions Manual, you MUST do so. It is a gem in itself and an essential part of the total "David Griffiths" experience.

Although this book is an absolute must if you are studying the subject and even if you are merely interested in it, there are a couple of minor quibbles that I need to bring to your attention.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Hastingsdamon on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains 53 typos and other errors that you'll need to correct, ranging from minor to debilitating. I cannot fathom why the publisher still has not corrected these in the 6th printing of the 2nd edition (2011), when Griffiths sent them the corrections in 2009. And the brand new, shrink-wrapped copy that I ordered directly from Amazon themselves didn't even include the errata sheet listing the 53 corrections! I had to download this errata sheet myself (Amazon won't let me post the link, but it's a simple Google search.) Bad form, Amazon. And bad form, Wiley-VCH.

With these corrections (that I penciled into my copy before reading), it's an excellent book. All books have corrections like these during the final editing process; it's perfectly normal. What's not normal is that the publisher never applied the corrections.

I knocked off 2 stars for the missing errata sheet, which could cause unaware readers hours of confusion.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
One of the most interesting and most intellectually far-reaching areas of modern Physics is Particle Physics. No other area of Physics has as conceptually profound implications for our understanding of how the world works on the very fundamental level, and nowhere else have the experiments been as monumental and imposing. And yet, particle Physics is rarely if ever taught in undergraduate Physics curriculum. The reason often given for this is that mathematical sophistication required for fully understanding this subject is far beyond the capability of most undergraduates. However, if done properly, the mathematical sophistication need not be beyond what is required in an upper level Electricity and Magnetism or Quantum Mechanics courses. To the contrary - the most important results in Particle Physics can be obtained by mathematical means that are not nearly as demanding as those in those other two upper level Physics courses. A perfect example of this are the textbooks by David Griffiths. He has been well known to generations of Physics students who had used his Electricity and Magnetism or Quantum Mechanics textbooks. These textbooks have become a de-facto standard for teaching those subjects. These textbooks are also known for many very demanding problems that require many, many pages of mathematical manipulation. And yet, most of these manipulations are much harder than anything you'll encounter in Griffiths' "Introduction to Elementary particles." There is still a collection of worked-out examples, but nowhere nearly at the level of what one finds in his other books. The presentation is characteristically accessible and pedagogical.Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By puppypersonLOTR on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Doing physics homework is rarely truly fun, but a good textbook can at least reduce the stress and confusion/frustration levels associated with working problems and learning material. This book is basically what I said in the title: Helpful, clear, and readable, which are three things that are essential in any informational book yet sadly lacking in so many physics textbooks. Excellent book. Also, there are amusing footnotes sprinkled throughout the text, including some anecdotes/commentaries on physics pillars such as Niels Bohr.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matthew C. on December 3, 2008
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Griffith's book is a straight-forward and easy-to-follow introduction to particle physics. The book doesn't require the reader to have much background in particle physics, mostly just quantum mechanics and Lagrangian physics. Quantum field theory is definitely not necessary to learn from this book, although it'll probably be helpful.

The book focuses more on "how" rather than "why," so it's a great starting point for experimentalists. Griffith's writes in a very casual and simple style; you won't find much mathematical jargon here. I'd recommend this book over Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics. Once you learn from this text the basics of the Standard Model and how to calculate amplitudes, cross-sections, decay rates, etc., you'll be ready to move on to more theoretical material (such as Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics) to answer the question of "why."
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