- Series: Cambridge Lecture Notes in Physics (Book 4)
- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (July 29, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521456924
- ISBN-13: 978-0521456920
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Diagrammatica: The Path to Feynman Diagrams (Cambridge Lecture Notes in Physics) 1st Edition
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"...a masterful introduction to quantum field theory and its application to elementary particle physics through Feynman diagrams. The approach is constructive rather than deductive, and the book offers many fine insights into the physics content of results that may be thought of as purely mathematical." Ernest Ma and Jose Wudka, Physics Today
"...would be a useful and solid starting point for a novice field theorist..." R. Delbourgo, Mathematical Reviews
Providing an easily accessible introduction to quantum field theory via Feynman rules and calculations in particle physics, the aim of this text is to clarify the physical foundations of present day field theory and the physical content of Feynman rules, and to outline their domain of applicability.
Top customer reviews
Veltman spends a lot of time helping the reader get his or her head wrapped around the idea of Hilbert space. This cleared my head for what was to follow.
It is one of the few books that does not assume you already know the subject. I recommend it for electrical engineers like myself. No idea is hard to understand when the author values communicating notions over notation!
Five stars for Martinus Veltman!
Probably, as with Feynman, characterizations always fall somewhat short of the mark.
Let us read from the Master:
"Perturbation Theory means Feynman Diagrams." (First Page of the Introduction).
"Apparently, in Quantum Mechanics, the Potential becomes something like the Photon Wave Function." (Page 11).
"What is a physical state ?...A physical state is simply a possible physical situation." (Page 33).
"A particle with four states is really nothing else but four different particles..." (Page 71).
"The physically important quantities,however, are not the fields, but the interaction Hamiltonian." (Page 84).
"Pion decay and PCAC make up one of the most interesting subjects of particle physics, it has played
a very large role in the discovery of gauge theories..." (Page 124).
"The choice as to what kind of field describes an observed particle is really a matter of choice; try what kind
of field describes best the observed data." (Page 169).
"The limit of zero mass of a massive graviton is not equal to the zero mass case; and from the experimental
observations one may actually deduce that the massless graviton is what nature uses." (Page 177).
"So, keep this in mind: A theory with massless vector particles, such as quantum electrodynamics,
or quantum chromodynamics, must have gauge invariance else the theory is not Lorentz Invariant." (Page 179).
"For all practical purposes, the Feynman Rules represent the true content of a theory." (Page 183).
The book is intended as somewhat of an introduction. Indeed,plenty of intermediate steps are included
in the calculations and this serves the student in good stead. The interspersed Exercises are usually straightforward.
(Exercise#6.4,Page 148 is typical--a routine,short,calculation left to the reader--here, the section on Power Counting).
Hints are supplied for a number of Exercises. Appendix A provides mathematical supplement pertaining to Matrices.
Appendix C provides a basic introduction to Dimensional Regularization. As for "Feynman's trick" for Integrals: here,
(Page 139) surprisingly, the author supplies details for what amounts to a rather elementary exercise for the reader !
Earlier on, contour integral techniques are utilized (For example, see Page 64 regarding Bound States).
Also, one must--as is usual at this level--be conversant with Fourier Transforms (see Page 66).
Finally, I quote Veltman's specific goal:
"...to make it clear which principles are behind the rules, and to define clearly the calculational details."
And, this is a goal which has been admirably achieved.
Upon careful study, one finds this book to be replete with words of wisdom, and technical tools of the trade.
Don't forget to follow up with: Quantum Theory of Gravitation, from 1975 Methods In Field Theory:
"In these lectures we will approach the theory of Gravitation from the point of view of Quantum Field Theory."
1999 Physics Nobel prize winners) for physicists. Mathematical
rigour was definitely not one of Veltman's major concerns when he
wrote this book. However clarity was indeed a big issue for him
and that is most unusual if you take into account that most Nobel
prize awarded physicist, are usually much more concerned about
"image", "posterity" and "mathematical rigour" than by
This book is a very good one to start with if you want to learn
QFT. It makes no use of the path integral formalism (which is the
prefered one by "modern" QFT theorists) . The canonical
formalism (the one used in this book) makes explicit the local
nature of QFT; this is an important issue since locallity stems
from Lorentz invariance and QFT is nothing but the physical
theory resulting from quantum mechanics and restricted
relativity. I fully agree with the statement that the path
integral method should be sistematically discarded in
introductory QFT books like this one.
As its title indicates, Feynman diagrams are the central issue of
this book. Veltman explains in the introduction: "This is then
the aim: to make it clear which principles are behind the
(Feynman) rules and to define clarly the calculation details".
This seems to be the natural choice for such an introductory
text; quoting Veltman again: " ... the theory (meaning QFT), or
rather the succesful part (of it), is perturbation theory ...
Perturbation theory means Feynman diagrams ".
This book provides a clear logical frame that supports the
calculation machinery of perturbative QFT's and should be
recommended to any person willing to introduce himself/herself in
Quantum Field Theory as a first choice course book.
Taking into account that this is an introductory book, its
short extension (200 pages) its scope is limited to QED and no
serious attempt is made to treat non-abelian theories.
One minor (for me it is minor, since my english is also rather
poor) annoyance: Even I (my mother tonge is spanish) can see
that the writing style is not very good and that some of the used
expressions are nothing more that literal translations from dutch