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Lie Algebras In Particle Physics: from Isospin To Unified Theories (Frontiers in Physics) 2nd Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0738202334
ISBN-10: 0738202339
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Howard Georgi is professor of physics at Harvard University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Frontiers in Physics (Book 54)
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press; 2 edition (October 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738202339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738202334
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Prof. Georgi's books is one of those books where, when you read it the first time it is terse and hard to learn from, and then every time you re-read it it seems better and better. I have to say, though, that no matter how many times you read the book, there are some things that you just might never understand. It is not that the math is complicated, but rather that Georgi explains lots of things in words, and his words are often difficult to follow. For example, I still don't understand how he constructed the baryon octet wavefunctions, because the entire procedure was described in one cryptic sentence.
I took Prof. Georgi's class and found it quite frustrating occasionally, and I found that there was no other book that you could turn to for help. All the other books either cover group theory purely mathematically or seem to be very advanced particle physics texts. By the way, I disagree with the previous reviewer's comments that you need to know any particle physics before reading this book; I didn't know any and I did fine.
The problems at the end of the chapter are very good in terms of testing your understanding. I don't think there is a single problem that involves tedious algebra, and yet many of them are quite tricky and I remember pulling all-nighters to do a problem that, once we figured it out, took three lines.
Anyway, Georgi's book is good in the sense of being very original, very complete, challenging, and fascinating. However, the drawback is that it is occasionally quite confusing. Overall, it can be a very good textbook, if you have a clear professor to decipher it for you and fill in the gaps.
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Format: Paperback
This book is good for what it is, namely, something to get your feet wet. When learning the basics of particle physics, e.g. as an undergrad or a beginning experimentalist, this is the quickest way to get a feel for the standard model gauge group.
However, this is *not* a complete text on group theory in particle physics (and therefore, little of what you need for supersymmetric field theories and string theories). So in addition to this book, you'd need something else with an introduction to the other things you need for your particular interest. Try Gilmore's "Applications of Lie algebras...", which I believe is out of print (in libraries). Also, Cornwell's abridged "Group theory in physics" is good (though if you can find the older set of three volumes, that may be more suited to your desires).
I don't suggest many of the other books on group theory for particles/fields/strings. There are tidbits of group theory you can pick up in the particular text you are working with, e.g. "Quantum theory of Fields" by Weinberg if you are learning quantum field theory.
For mathematical physics in general, I strongly suggest "Gauge fields, knots, and gravity" (John Baez), "Differential Geometry for physicists" (Chris Isham), and "Mathematical Physics" (Geroch).
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By A Customer on March 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
good supplement of introductory quantum field theory. particle physics books often have aggressiveness but this is in a relaxed mood, apt for reading in fine sunday mornings. 27 chapters in 300 pages, short chapters, without one for manifold and topology. from this book you can't get a mathematically deep understanding of Lie algebra nor exotic viewpoint for particle/string, but that's not this is for. i hope someday this will be included in Dover classics.
1.finite groups 2.Lie groups 3.SU(2) 4.tensor operators 5.isospin 6.roots and weights 7.SU(3) 8.simple roots 9.more SU(3) 10.tensor methods 11.hypercharge and strangeness 12.Young tableaux 13.SU(n) 14.3-d harmonic oscillator 15.SU(6) and the quark model 16.color 17.constituent quarks 18.unified theories and SU(5) 19.classical groups 20.classification theorem 21.SO(2n+1)and spinors 22.SO(2n+2)spinors 23.SU(n)<SO(2n) 24.SO(10) 25.automorphisms 26.Sp(2n) 27.odds and ends - E6
2 Comments 15 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
The book provides readers with the view of how particle physicists understand the nature with the help of group theory. Readers have to know the basic idea of particle physics beforehand in order to understand the contents of the book. If you know it well, you can learn a lot from the book. One thing I recommend is to solve the problems at the end of each chapter by yourself. After doing that, you don't have to be afraid of group theory when studying particle physics.
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By A Customer on August 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Georgi's book has its strengths and weaknesses. It is very strong on application to physics but suffers greatly from a lack of mathematical substance. It has all the earmarks of a mathematics book written by a physicist: lots of physical insight but poor logical structure. Clear definitions and statements of theorems are missing and contribute to the nebulous feel of the text.
This is the kind of book that a casual reader will go through and think he has learned alot but for which the serious student who seeks a precise, thorough understanding of the material will likely end up confused at many points. It is a book of tools. The reader will not obtain a mastery of the subject but must suppliment this book with other, more theoretical treatments of representation theory.
The lack of mathematical rigor is by design as Geogi mentions in the preface. It could have been a better book, in my opinion, had it been more fleshed out in that respect.
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Lie Algebras In Particle Physics: from Isospin To Unified Theories (Frontiers in Physics)
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