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Introduction to Elementary Particles 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-3527406012
ISBN-10: 3527406018
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Editorial Reviews

Review

?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 (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. MOLDOVAN on September 16, 2010
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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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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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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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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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Like what the other reviews have said, this book is the ideal choice for someone who is just starting their particle physics education. If you are interested in purchasing this textbook, I would recommend that you have some familiarity with quantum mechanics before attempting this book. You don't have to be a QM expert (although the more you know, the more you will be able to get out of this book). Griffith's book on quantum mechanics, while not the best, should be all you need. You can even get by covering both books at the same time...which is what I did. Other than that, an understanding of special relativity at the level of a standard modern physics course is all that is required.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to learn more about this exciting field of physics.
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I bought this book as a fun read after getting though Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" and becoming fascinated with particle physics. I am an engineer and have a solid foundation in math so it was not an impossible read, but did find it quite challenging. The early chapters have a no-math history of particle physics, and then begin to become more and more complex, building on chapter-after-chapter of new conceptual and quantitative theory.
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