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Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems: From the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons (Oxford Graduate Texts) Paperback – October 18, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0199227259 ISBN-10: 019922725X Edition: Reissue

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Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems: From the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons (Oxford Graduate Texts) + Quantum Phase Transitions + Condensed Matter Field Theory
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Graduate Texts
  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reissue edition (October 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019922725X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199227259
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"As a whole, Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems is an inspirational and forward-looking book exploring the mysteries and never ending wonders of many-particle quantum mechanicsBoth for ambitious graduate students and for gray-haired veterans, Wen's book offers a refreshing look at the mysterious quantum world."--Physics Today


"... covers an extremely wide-ranging and stimulating series of topics in modern theoretical condensed matter physics."--Nigel Cooper, University of Cambridge


"... responds to a serious need for a modern book on field-theory approaches to condensed matter theory."--Allan H. MacDonald, University of Texas at Austin


About the Author


Xiao-Gang Wen is a professor in the Department of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book reflects the research interests of the author, who is a genius, and should not be considered introductory, even at the graduate level. I do not find this book useful for learning anything for the first time. However, it provides an interesting perspective on many classic topics in many-body theory. Unlike the previous reviewer, I found the grandious statements a wonderful feature since most textbooks lack any of the author's voice. Reading this book is closer to attending a lecture than any text of it's kind I've read. I get this book from the library and I wouldn't pay $100 for it especially since the author posts his lectures notes on his website and much of the later material can be obtained from PROLA.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By PT on December 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The other two reviewers have both noted that the book may not be a good starting point for a beginner, and I entirely agree.

Think Weinberg's three-volume QFT, or Feynman's Lectures on Physics. These books are good, full of insights, and will teach you a lot more if you already have some basic understanding of the respective subjects. However, you will suffer if these books are used as introductory texts.

That said, I find Wen's book generally a good read, and it nicely explains several concepts that I didn't understand until now. Well, I am a field theorist in my 4th year of grad school-- not exactly a beginner. But still.

One such instance is the section on Berry phase of a spin. Granted, Wen pretty much just throw at you the concept of a coherent state, but that part I learned just all right from other places. What's important is, Wen's book explains the next step "coherent state --> Berry phase" clearly. It's the only comprehensible derivation I've seen so far. (See, for example, Fradkin's Field Theories for Condensed Matters for an **unintelligible** derivation.)

I do sometimes find Wen's narrative style annoying. But hey, it's a theoretical physics textbook, and as long as he makes sound arguments (he does), how he delivers the arguments isn't that important.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Juven Idear on July 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a forward-looking and inspirational book. This book prepares many warm-up topics for ongoing research directions, such as string-net, toric code, topological order, nonlinear sigma model, emergent gauge theory, high Tc superconductor, etc. It is a good practice book to read for the backgrounds of hard-condensed-matter-theory and hard-condensed-matter-experiment.

The reader, however, is required to be open-minded, and to be challenged by the unconventional, non-traditional ways of viewing the beauty and the mystery of quantum many body physics. It was suggested by the book that a new language is desired to describe the beauty and the mystery of many new emergent physics in the quantum world.
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