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Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition (In a nutshell) Hardcover – February 21, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0691140346 ISBN-10: 0691140340 Edition: Second

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Second 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 (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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



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Customer Reviews

This book is much like my impression of Zee himself--extremely engaging and likable.
Ulfilas
This book is not only useful for learning QFT, but learning how to write a book on a subject that is considered highly technical.
Amazon Customer
I especially liked the occasional jabs Zee takes at those types who like to whine about a lack of rigor.
Mobius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Ulfilas on December 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nate on September 10, 2013
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By prince of nerds on February 17, 2014
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard L. Plumer on 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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