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Quantum Field Theory of Point Particles and Strings (Frontiers in Physics) First Edition Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201119824
ISBN-10: 020111982X
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Hatfield is co-founder and senior research physicist at AMP Research in Lexington, Massachusetts. He has help positions at the University of California, the University of Texas, and Harvard University. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Caltech.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Frontiers in Physics (Book 75)
  • Hardcover: 734 pages
  • Publisher: Perseus Books; First Edition edition (January 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020111982X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201119824
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,535,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is readable (you don't have to sit down with paper and pencil and work out a page of calculations to get from one line to the next, for most of the text)and it is clear (concepts are defined and explained). It is not really suitable as a first exposure to QFT for the reader would be better off with some familiarity with Feynman diagrams and relativistic quantum mechanics beforehand. With this background Hatfield's book is very valuable as a source for understanding the meaning behind QFT. Many other field theory texts seem to be concerned with little beyond the motions of handling the mechanical formalism and obtaining quantitative results to problems. This book instead gives the reader insight into field theory, does a good job at giving the big picture and stressing the transition from ordinary QM to the field aspect. Besides this, Hatfield's informal prose makes the book enjoyable to read. It has a fair share of typos throughout but most are quite easy to find. Compared to some of the popular field theory texts out there (P&S, Ryder) this one stands head and shoulders above.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a typical field theory book. From the very beginning the aim is to teach the reader all the concepts and methods which will be useful to learn string theory which form the last third of the book. Excellent examples of this can be found in the chapters on path integral and also in the chapter on Fadeev-Popov method. Almost all calculations are shown in step by step detail and it is very useful for the students who are learning field theory for the first time. The organization of the book is a little different from the usual mold of field theory books, but one can get use to it. One just has to realize that while most of the field theory books on the market (except for Weinberg's 3 volume text and one or two other) aim at teaching how to derive Feynman rules and how to calculate a few processes , this book by Hatfield is trying to take the "field theory book" audiance (who are usually phenomenology oriented) to a different playground "introduction to strings". This is an excellent book and a definite break from the old "B&D book 1 and 2" tradition and I would recommend it to both students and teachers (most of whom are still stuck in the old mode) alike. K. M. Maung Department of Physics Hampton University Hampton, Virginia 23668
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a truly work of art! as simple as that. It is by far the best book I have encounter on Quantum Field Theory, the explanations of each topic a very, very clear. For instance, it has a marvelous section where it explains in very simple terms how Lorentz invariance of the theory implies locality, causality, the existence of antiparticles and the existence of a relation between spin and statistics. Another excellent point of the book is that it really gives the true connection between first and second quantization!, By this I mean that finally a book explains to me the missing part between these two formalisms and how from a second quantized field theory can a first quantized model be born (such the ones we usually study in Quantum Mechanics courses although not necessarily non relativistic). But what I really think makes this book unique is the three chapters (9,10,11) that it devotes to the analysis of Quantum Field Theory in "The Schroedinger Representation", I simply not know of any other book where you can find this material!!!....As if this facts were few it has a total of 18 chapters on Quantum Field Theory and 8 more chapters devoted to String Theory!, To put it in simple words, if I had to compare this book with other books on QFT, I say all other books tell you almost nothing and this one tells you almost all.... So if you are thinking about getting this book don't hesitate a second more it is truly a masterpiece written by someone who shows the signature of his Master, late professor Richard P. Feynman.
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Format: Paperback
This book promises to be a nice read for someone with minimal background. And many people with backgrounds in physics say it's an easy read. Maybe it is for them, but not for me. Now, I admit, I am a wannabe physicist. Most of my background is in pure mathematics and computer programming. However, I have recently taken up an interest in physics, and of all the sciences, I find that books in advanced physics are the most difficult to understand, in general. It has taken me many painful hours just to understand the Langrangian and the Hamiltonian, and just last week I finally mastered Noether's theorem. And by page 20 of this book, I'm exposed to the Lagrangian density, kind of a continuous extension of the notion of the Lagrangian. Well, generalizing from finitely many particles to a continuous field is not really that difficult. And I guess that is a very important insight in and of itself. But as I read the next 5 pages, I am absolutely dumbfounded by the stretch of rigor. I can't guess what rule they'll break next, as they assume that every calculation rule will carry over in their transition from one domain to another. In fact, as I write this review, I am still stuck pondering page 25, wondering how they justify every single step.
This is not the first time I've tried to read this book. I've had to frequently consult other books on mathematical physics before I could proceed any further. Now, I admit, that while my background in mathematics is thorough, I've never had a formal education in physics, and I'm trying as best as I can to read all the books on mathematical physics, quantum mechanics, QFT, QED, GR, etc. And I think I have the handle on the Hamiltonian, and how it is used in both classical and quantum mechanics.
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