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Quantum Field Theory 2nd Edition
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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).Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overally the book is fine but the cover of the book had some scratch ... never mind, the content is excellent ...Published 10 months ago by mehdi
One of the best books on QFT for beginners. Clear presentation, with emphasis on the physics and practical tools.Published 18 months ago by Rajesh R Parwani
This review is for the first edition. As I understand the only difference to the 2nd edition is the 1st editions lack of the chapter on supersymmetry. Read morePublished on July 6, 2012 by physics joe
This is a book which simplifies QFT in a way not suitable for learning the real principles and theoretical foundations of QFT. Read morePublished on July 22, 2011 by Kara Trace
As many reviewers correctly observe, quantum field theory can hardly be learned from one book. This is, of course, true of many topics in science and engineering! Read morePublished on October 18, 2010 by Ulfilas
To understand quantum field theory it is necessary to read more than one author. Ryder's book should definitely be included in the list of titles.Published on October 3, 2007 by Marcelo Vogel
This book should not be used for beginners by which I mean those individuals with a background in QM and SR but not QFT. Read morePublished on December 5, 2006 by Rehan Dost
its a good book for the beginners.The only drawback is it does not have exercise problems.Published on February 27, 2006 by Sayak Mukherjee
1)as other reviewers put, we cannot expect every thing from one source. but without doubt, this is a good buy. Read morePublished on March 8, 2002