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Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition (In a nutshell) [Hardcover]

A. Zee
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 21, 2010 0691140340 978-0691140346 2nd edition

Since it was first published, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell has quickly established itself as the most accessible and comprehensive introduction to this profound and deeply fascinating area of theoretical physics. Now in this fully revised and expanded edition, A. Zee covers the latest advances while providing a solid conceptual foundation for students to build on, making this the most up-to-date and modern textbook on quantum field theory available.

This expanded edition features several additional chapters, as well as an entirely new section describing recent developments in quantum field theory such as gravitational waves, the helicity spinor formalism, on-shell gluon scattering, recursion relations for amplitudes with complex momenta, and the hidden connection between Yang-Mills theory and Einstein gravity. Zee also provides added exercises, explanations, and examples, as well as detailed appendices, solutions to selected exercises, and suggestions for further reading.

  • The most accessible and comprehensive introductory textbook available
  • Features a fully revised, updated, and expanded text
  • Covers the latest exciting advances in the field
  • Includes new exercises
  • Offers a one-of-a-kind resource for students and researchers

Leading universities that have adopted this book include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • College of William & Mary
  • Cornell
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University - Main Campus
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rutgers University - New Brunswick
  • Stanford University
  • University of California - Berkeley
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Tech University

Frequently Bought Together

Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition (In a nutshell) + Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell
Price for both: $127.27

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Editorial Reviews


"Every theoretical physicist and every university library should own this book."--Choice

"This is quantum field theory taught at the knee of . . . one who loves the grandeur of his subject, has a keen eye for a slick argument, and is eager to share his repertoire of anecdotes about Feynman, Fermi, and all of his heroes. . . . Zee misses no opportunity to point out that an argument he gives opens the door to some deeper subject that he encourages the reader to explore. . . . [Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell] helps them love the subject and race to its frontier."--Michael E. Peskin, Classical and Quantum Gravity

"[T]his is an excellent and unique introduction to quantum field theory. It takes a lot of work, and capable but less confident students would need a great deal of guidance, but it is a beautiful text written with infectious enthusiasm, and I thoroughly recommend it."--S. Virmani, Contemporary Physics

"[This] is an excellent invitation to the wide area of modern quantum field theory, and even provides the mature field theoretician with interesting insights and connections. To the curious student, it is a near-perfect companion to spice up the world of quantum field theory, especially particle physics, beyond the standard presentations. . . . It is definitely highly recommendable to anyone who wants to have a book with a non-standard view on quantum field theory, or who just wants to have an entertaining and insightful reprise of the topic."--Axel Maas, Mathematical Reviews Clippings

From the Inside Flap

"A beautiful exposition of the way modern field theorists think about quantum field theory, packed with insights and physical intuition. Zee's book should be required reading for every serious student of the subject."--Nima Arkani-Hamed, Institute for Advanced Study

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2nd edition edition (February 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691140340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691140346
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By Ulfilas
I was lucky enough to hear Anthony Zee speak at my research facility--although on a somewhat more general and less specialized topic than the one addressed by this book. This book is much like my impression of Zee himself--extremely engaging and likable. Unlike the lecture that I attended, however--which was suitable for laymen--this book is somewhat daunting and difficult to assimilate.

I made the mistake of choosing Zee as my first book for studying Quantum Field Theory. Although Zee does a good job laying a sort of intuitive groundwork for Quantum Field Theory, and building up to a basic explanation of Feynman integrals and Feynman diagrams, after about twenty pages I was completely lost. Only after reading half of Ryder's Quantum Field Theory and a quarter of Peskin and Schoeder's An Introduction To Quantum Field Theory (Frontiers in Physics) had I acquired the necessary background for making my way halfway through Zee.

I am happy to have bought and studied Zee, and consider the book to be valuable and useful--it should just not be your first book on QFT--or even your second!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Nate
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is in a weird position.

If you are a casual reader, you won't understand page 1.
If you are an undergraduate, you won't understand past page 10.
If you are a graduate who hasn't started QFT, you won't understand past page 20.
If you are taking QFT, you won't understand the material he is talking about until after you learned it in your course. This book won't help you learn because most of the things you would get caught on, Zee skips and assumes you will do it on your own time. The salient pieces of information that are the important results he shows, but he doesn't explain how to get there.
If you know QFT already, this book is an absolute treat and amazingly fun read.

A MUCH better job is done in his newer book, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell. It teaches VERY well and still maintains the conversational and fun aspects of this book.

I feel that this book is highly overrated due to the fact that once you do understand it, it's as much fun of a book to read in all of physics. But until you are done with two years of graduate school, it's useless. It's a QFT book that can't be used until you already know QFT.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent field theory text, engagingly written December 8, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm writing this review now because I have to purchase this textbook for the third time - of all the hundreds of books on my shelves, only one book has gone missing once, let alone twice. And it is Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell. I don't know if I misplace the book or if it gets stolen, but if it is the latter, then I admire the robber's taste in literature and hope he or she makes good use of the book.

Zee's QFT textbook is an absolute pleasure on many levels. For learning quantum field theory of course. For giving readers the feeling of learning at a very high level, of seeing how great minds work (Feynman's logical and brilliant extension of screens with holes in them, from finite to infinite) and thus helping our minds look at problems from different perspectives. For reminding the reader at every step that learning is an activity for the student, not a passive acceptance of ideas and equations. I think this is the part that is most helpful, the engagement with the reader, the encouragement to think things through for ourselves. And all the while going through quantum field theory at a very fundamental and conceptual level. I wish that he would write a book about every physics topic that is hard to grapple with, because I would not feel that there were ideas and steps I just had to accept, which didn't actually seem inevitable or even understandable to me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I intended to use this book to level up in QFT. I had Leonard Susskind's youtube lectures and David MacMahon's text in the "Demystified" series under my belt. After 3 years, I still haven't in any meaningful sense gotten past page 25, and I've given up trying to learn QFT from this book.

I'm currently using Robert Klauber's "Student friendly Quantum field theory" text. Three weeks with that book has done much more for me than 3 years with this one did, ditto for even just the free samples I printed out from the author's website prior to purchasing the full text.

I have a strong feeling this book will be useful - maybe even highly so - once I've gone through a few more chapters of Klauber's text, but looking at the bang I got for the bucks I paid, I can't honestly rate this book higher than 3 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding textbook. March 22, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful textbook, by an experienced and skilled expositor. It takes material of great difficulty and makes it as clear and understandable as possible. The chapters are short, so the students never feels overwhelmed by a large volume of material. The Appendices on Group Theory and the Feynman Rules are most helpful, as is the appendix
containing solutions to selected exercises. Finally, it is pleasant to see material at this level presented with a warm sense of humor. I wish this book had been available when I was
a student.
My only adverse comment is that the book could be better still if it didn't spend half a dozen or so pages at the beginning extolling its own praises.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Edition Better Than First
The First Edition already was a classic but Prof.Zee's Second Edition is even better. The First has 503 pp while the Second has 562 pp (in a larger page size) so the Nutshell has... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Frank Cannonito
1.0 out of 5 stars not mathematical enough
The formulations are simply just not rigorous enough for me. It relies on instinct and imagination and very little on logic.
Published 4 months ago by butsuritsu
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This book is not only useful for learning QFT, but learning how to write a book on a subject that is considered highly technical.
Published 6 months ago by MM
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
This is a very special book that, in my opinion, should be read by any serious student of quantum field theory. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lev650
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best introductory text ever?
This is absolutely *the* book to use as an introduction to the subject. Quantum field theory is an incredibly fascinating subject, but is often quite intimidating, and other books... Read more
Published 15 months ago by K. Shukla
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Book
I am reading QFTIAN for the Nth time. It always annoys me to realize how much I missed the (N-1)th time. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sammy
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite QFT book
Despite of being a serious QFT text this book reads almost like a novel. It is really enjoyable: I could not put it down. Read more
Published on October 11, 2011 by Fernando Martin Maroto
5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Field Theory by A. Zee
I first came across this book as a reference for a class I was going to take at the University of Utah in Quantum Field Theory (QFT). Read more
Published on September 20, 2011 by Patricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell
This is a fabulous book. Encyclopedic in its coverage. Written to be understood and used. I carry my copy around so consistently my wife refers to it as my security blanket. Read more
Published on August 10, 2011 by GMGallatin
4.0 out of 5 stars This one has unique features
I could just as well give this a 3-star rating; it is hard to know how to rate this kind of book (for me, at least). Read more
Published on June 4, 2011 by Don Jennings
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