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Introduction to High Energy Physics 4th Edition

2.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521621960
ISBN-10: 0521621968
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It holds a unique place in the literature. It is for graduates and undergraduates, and it describes in detail experiment, theory, particle physics, and cosmology. That's a lot of material in one book. Perkins will thus continue to be a 'must-have' for practicing experimentalists." Physics Today

"Comprehensive and at about the right level and length for an introductory course." Professor Vassili Papavassiliou, New Mexico State University

Book Description

The 4th edition of a textbook that has dominated advanced undergraduate and graduate particle physics teaching for the last 25 years. The author is a senior figure of modern day particle physics and brings a unique authority and depth of understanding to the subject. The new edition has been extensively rewritten and completely updated. Completely new chapters have been added to cover the burgeoning field connecting particle physics with cosmology, and another new chapter introduces exciting new topics such as supersymmetry, superstrings, neutrino masses and grand unified theories.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 4 edition (April 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521621968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521621960
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As many previous reviewers have already pointed out, this book is not nearly as good an introduction to theoretical high energy physics as Griffiths' "Introduction to Elementary Particles". The primary reason for this is that Perkins' book was never meant to be read as a theoretical course in the first place. This is why Griffiths introduces Feynman rules and gamma matrices near the middle of the book and uses them extensively throughout the rest; Perkins mentions them in passing in the first chapter and then completely forgets them. In Perkins you will find little rigorous math, but a lot of experimental physics. If you want to understand the theory behind T violation, use Griffiths. If you want to know how physicists measured the electric dipole momentum of the neutron ( thus putting an upper limit on the magnitude of T violation ), Perkins will explain it in detail, together with the schematics of the apparatus they used.
Overall, this book does not fit its title well - it is not a good introduction to high energy physics ( unless you are so totally averse to math that you can't manage Griffiths or Peskin/Shroeder ). However, it has its own purpose - that is, to teach experimental methods in high energy physics. It probably should be studied after Griffiths by those who are interested in experimental side of particle physics.
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Format: Hardcover
Basically, If you want theoretical approach stop reading this and buy griffiths' book, it's a lot better.

I'm using Perkins for a course mainly made up of senior undergraduates. First of all, a lot of the other reviewers have ripped the book to shreds, and most of their complaints are valid. I'd like to point out that this book actually attempts a fairly difficult task of introducing relatively advanced concepts which require qft, to students without any background in field theory.

The long and the short of it is... Perkins' book is geared for learning with a phenomonological, experimental approach. This results in a lot of hand waving, and not many mathematical or theoretical insights. If you're expecting these things, the book will be dissapointing.

All of this aside, there are some major flaws in the book. First of all, it kind of lacks on organization. There are a lot of charts, tables and graphs thrown about at random, and with little reasoning or thought. This makes Perkins' fairly useless as a reference, since you might have to look at four or more different charts to find out the relevant properties of a given particle.

My other major complaint, is that Perkins uses a lot of jargon without sufficiently introducing the terminology. While, this is fine for people who already know particle physics, I'm guessing that if you're reading this book, you don't already know particle physics.

Finally, despite being a fourth addition, there are still a bunch of misprints/omissions. For example, there's a question (which i conveniently had for a homework assignment) totally based on a concept not mentioned anywhere within the book. Google searches on the topic led only to obscure and inaccessible papers.
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Format: Hardcover
Speaking as a graduate student in physics who is condemned to sort through this abominable text, I strongly discourage anyone from engaging in this book if they are given the choice. It's presentation is extremely fragmented, and explanations obscure - survey unlucky students who are condemned to this text and they will tell you that learning particle physics has been a matter of finding other strong treatments. Not at all recommended. I am disturbed by the five star marks awarded by Amazon.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not just a straightforward update of a successful book, it is a major rewrite, the most comprehensive revision so far. It covers all significant developments of the past 15 years; equally important, it has been thoroughly reorganized, such that the discussion is now firmly embedded into the classification of particles and forces of the Standard Model. A welcome addition are two new chapters which treat 'Physics beyond the Standard Model' and 'Particle physics and cosmology' in much more detail and present the relevance of particle physics in a wider scientific context.
Rüdiger Voss /CERN
A complete review is available in CERN Courier, June 2000
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Format: Hardcover
I used Perkin's book for a one sememester 500 level graduate course. I honestly believe that of the 20+ books that I have used in undergrad and grad school, that this is the absolute worst text I have encountered. The equations in the text are mearly thrown in without the slightest justification or hint of the possible method of derivation. If you would truly understand the significance of the equations, then you would need a background knowledge that I can hardly believe anybody looking for an introduction to high energy physics could have. However, this is far from its biggest pitfall. The book is choppy to read. There are almost no quantitative examples and yet the questions are mostly quantitative. I am sure that I could think of more specifics dislikes, but I think that the reader has seen my opion. To anybody considering buying this text I suggest instead purchasing griffiths "introduction to elementary particles." My class was so displeased with perkins text that our professor has promised to switch to griffiths next year. To reiterate.... Perkins book is the epitome of bad writing. I give my apologies to the author, but I don't want others to waste their time and money on this text. Buy Griffiths Book, it is good!
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