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Quantum Field Theory Paperback – June 6, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0521478144 ISBN-10: 0521478146 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 501 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (June 6, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521478146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521478144
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is very strongly recommended to anyone seeking an elementary introduction to modern approaches to quantum field theory." Physics Bulletin

Book Description

After a brief overview of particle physics and a survey of relativistic wave equations and Lagrangian methods, this text develops the quantum theory of scalar and spinor fields, and then of gauge fields. The emphasis throughout is on functional methods, which have played a large part in modern field theory.

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Customer Reviews

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Equations and the steps in their derivation are also laid out in sufficient detail.
Ulfilas
It is a very good introduction to QFT and a great supplementary book for the first class in the subject.
Ed Ames (eames@uci.edu)
All propogators, amplitudes, scattering matrices etc. are derived using path integrals.
physics joe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Derek Lee on September 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the basic questions in the education of theoretical physics is, what is a good way of introducing QFT and giving the student a taste of what is to come? In my opinion, this book offers a fine solution to this thorny problem.
There are many sides to this question; for example, there is the view that the students should be exposed to this vast topic in a complete and thorough way (for such a text, I HIGHLY recommend Weinberg's 3 volume set, which, if not commonly regarded as a classic yet, soon will be), and also there is the point of view that most of the students studying QFT are experimentalists, so they should first be exposed to how to calculate amplitudes and cross sections for useful processes as soon as possible (see Peskin-Schroder for an outstanding exemplification of this principle). Both of these points of view have strong arguments supporting them, and there are many other reasonable opinions that might be taken; perhaps this is an indication that there is not any one approach to this subject which is a good introduction for all, but rather that the student must choose intelligently which text he/she finds they are most comfortable with. However, I can say that for me at least, this book had just the right selection of topics and at just the right level to get me interested in the subject and to give me a taste as to what it would be like if I were to go into it in more depth (which indeed I did). Other reviewers are quite right in pointing out that there are several inaccuracies in this text; also in more than a few places the treatment is considerably less clear than it might have been (this is one of the main strengths of Weinberg's set; every last detail is crystal clear, and the physical reasoning in the derivations is very rarely muddled in the math).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Ball on August 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Of all the QFT textbooks I have surveyed, this is by far the most accessable and readable. It has an ideal balance between clear well-written text and carefully paced equations, without the usual "after some manipulation..." or "combining with the previous results and rearranging..." or the fearful "it can be seen that..." which usually conceal chasms in reasoning that require an hour or so's hackwork to establish. It is nicely self-contained, having short digressions to derive some mathematical or topological results without sending the reader to consult other sources for clarification. I still have the first edition for which my only minor quibble would be the rather frequent typo's in the formulae, but at least picking them out kept me alert. These may have been cleaned up in the later edition.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Dreisigmeyer on May 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
A very readable intro to QFT. After having tried a dozen or so different QFT books, this is the one that I eventually used. A nice feature is its emphasis on the path integral and its use in QFT. This book does not have any problems included. In order to gain some experience actually solving problems the book should be supplemented with another. I would recommend that Schwabl's "Advanced Quantum Mechanics" and Griffiths' "Introduction to Elementary Particles" be used in conjunction with Ryder. They complement the text perfectly. Also, you can't expect to learn QFT from only one source.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Assaf Tal on February 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book reminds me of Sakurai's book Modern Quantum Mechanics, in that Sakurai manages to explain many topics in a very compact form, but is not always suitable
for beginners who need to actually see calculations and have every step justified
for them; i.e., it is a bit TOO intuitive (yes, you can be too intuitive). Intuition is great, but intuition should come from first doing calculations and proving things thoroughly, which is something this book just doesn't do.
Also, the outstanding pedagogy mentioned by some other reviewers here isn't so outstanding. Allow me to give an example - on page 63 Ryder defines the little group as the subgroup of the Poincare group which leaves a certain vector invariant. Then a few lines later he writes down a certain vector and adds: "what is its little group? It is clearly the rotation group, since this will have no effect on [the vector]" - hardly an explanation; this look more like a tautology to me. I'm not nitpicking - this is the sort of reasoning provided in many places in the book. In my opinion, it might be good for readers who are looking for an intuitive angle on things, but for people learning QFT for the first time a book such as Bjorken and Drell will do a better job, even if not as exciting.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Normally I would have given this book a three-star rating if it weren't for the number of interesting topics that it presents that usually don't find themselves in a QFT book: topological aspects, supersymmetry, nice approach to Dirac's equation, derivation of reduction theorem from path integrals only.
The presentations are written with uneven quality. Ryder's treatment of supersymmetry is excellent as an introduction. The first chapter on the other hand is entirely forgetable. The mathematics is too loose and somewhat sloppy at parts. However almost every field theory text I've come across suffers from this criticism. (It would be nice to see a QFT book written for physicists but by a mathematician.) Explanations and insight into QFT are scant; the book focuses mostly on formalism. The best thing about Ryder is it covers a great amount of material in a short size (487 pages) and in a very readable form.
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