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An Introduction To Quantum Field Theory (Frontiers in Physics) First Edition Edition
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Several of the formal aspects of QFT are shunted in P&S, as must something be neglected in every QFT text that is stable against gravitational collapse. The general representation theory of the Lorentz group is the most glaring omission in P&S. Chapter 1 of Ramond's "Field Theory: A Modern Primer" treats this topic quite well. The LSZ reduction formulae are derived and discussed more clearly in Pokorski's "Gauge Field Theories", as are BRST symmetry and free field theory. For those interested in undertaking detailed phenomenological studies of the SM or some extension thereof, Vernon Barger's "Collider Physics" is also recommended.
Despite its shortcomings, P&S remains the best QFT reference currently available. It's the book I turn to first when confronted in research papers with field theoretic puzzle that I just can't crack. If you buy only one QFT text, buy P&S.
If it is an introduction, then the opening chapters are written at a level too sophisticated that an average first-time student can't handle.
If it aims to be a "bible" of the subject, then the later chapters are far too technical, loaded with only Feynman diagram calculations for standard model. Not being a phenomenologist, I personally have very little interest in all the technical detail, and apparently several other reviewers share my view here.
Now let me gives some examples to support my claim.
First, C, P and T symmetries are introduced very early on (right after Dirac spinor), and in a very formal way. Yes, they logically belong there, but in an "introduction" of the subject you don't throw out an isolated topic like this which you don't make use of in the following few hundred pages.
The part on cannonical quantization is written at a very fast pace. A complex scalar field is probably the first model you can construct with charged particles. And guess what kind of treatment it receives in this book? Not a single word in the main text. The problem 2 of that chapter essentially asks you to work out the content of this model with few hints given. If you have troble working it out, which is not uncommon for a first-timer, then you won't see the logic behind the decomposition of a complex Dirac field either. This is done in the following chapter, with no explaination.
Like the charged scalar field example, some important pieces of knowledge are hidden only in the exercises.Read more ›
The main emphasis of the book is on quantum electrodynamics (QED), the most successful of quantum field theories. The representation and analysis of the physical processes of QED is done via Feynman diagrams, with electron-positron annihilation leading off the discussion. Recognizing that the exact expression for the amplitude of this process is not known, perturbation theory is used to give an approximate representation for it via an infinite series with each term involving successively higher powers of the strength of the coupling between the electrons and photons (i.e. the charge). Each term is represented as a Feynman diagram. This is followed by a discussion of the quantum field theory of the Klein-Gordon field. The authors give one of the best explanations in the literature of why one must deal with the quantization of fields and not particles, the most important one being causality. Canoncial quantization is employed and the Feynman propagator for the Klein-Gordon field is derived. The Dirac field is also quantized using the canonical formalism. The authors show that Klein-Gordon fields obey Bose-Einstein statistics and Dirac fields obey Fermi-Dirac statistics. The all-important Wick's theorem is proven and higher-order Feynman diagrams are discussed. Most importantly, the authors show how to connect these results to experiment via the calculation of cross sections and decay rates.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good Introduction for a really good price (kindle edition). But the formulas have very low resolution on my kindle! Please improve that!Published 20 days ago by Peter
Best quantum field theory book ever. A must have for every serious theoretical physicist.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I even cannot find the publisher. it's not a American version.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This review applies only to the Kindle edition. I'd give the print edition 4.5 or 5 stars.
The equations on the Kindle edition are stored as fuzzy, low resolution... Read more
A horrible book if you don't already know a lot about QFT. This is not an introduction, but a book that comes in handy if you want to look things up. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ryan
There are multiple choices for QFT books, and it can be personality dependant ;) P&S is certainly a very good pick for someone who intends to learn and work with field theory.Published 13 months ago by Physics hobo