- Hardcover: 522 pages
- Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (November 2, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0124980805
- ISBN-13: 978-0124980808
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Quantum Vacuum: An Introduction to Quantum Electrodynamics 1st Edition
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"A survey of some of the most important ideas about the always fluctuating quantum vacuum along with a description, based on fundamental vacuum processes, of the physical concepts of quantum electrodynamics." --SCI TECHBOOK NEWS, 1994
"The Quantum Vacuum [is] an informative and very readable introduction to quantum electrodynamics. It is a remarkable idea that a book on this topic should be a 'page turner but I found it difficult to put down....I have not come across a better introduction to this subject than Milonnis text. All serious students of quantum theory will benefit from reading it and I have already recommended it to my students. I am looking forward to finishing working through the later chapters once I get the book back from the aforementioned students!" --JOURNAL OF MODERN OPTICS (1994, vol. 41, no. 5, 1051-1052)
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useful for someone in quantum electrodynamics. Similar
information has been given in other books.
HOWEVER.... I have to agree with the last reviewer. This book
seems to be a copy of the original book, even though cleanly
done ! ...outside cover cheaply printed on spine, no front print,
inside pages are photocopies and not original quality press
printing !!!! In all, it looks like a well done black market copy
rather than an original Academic Press book.
BEWARE of buying this version. Other sources might be
The book opens with a chapter covering some of the earlier work that hinted at vacuum fluctuations, for example blackbody radiation and spontaneous emissions. Following this the vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field are derived.
Then some interesting physics is presented. The Casimir effect is covered briefly. The Casimir effect is returned to frequently throughout the book, in fact it's one of the central topics of it. The Unruh-Davies effect is derived and a physical explanation is given for it, there is also a discussion of what a freefalling observer with a charge sees. Although not mentioned in the book, the analogous effect has important implications for Hawking radiation. Many other effects are considered. One that I thought was particularly interesting is that the van der Waals force between atoms that lack permanent magnetic dipole moments is ultimately caused by vacuum fluctuations. Van der Waals forces are covered in great detail as the book proceeds.
The final four chapters read like a quick introduction to quantum field theory similar to the approach in Bjorken and Drell. The contents are roughly: the Dirac equation, some of its effects (e.g. Zitterbewegung and vacuum polarization), the realization that the Dirac equation has issues as a single particle theory, second quantization, renormalization and Feynman diagrams. One of the interesting results is the calculation of the Casimir type force caused by the electron field. Other than that, not much else from this part of the book stood out for me.
This isn't a comprehensive book on field theory in general or even quantum electrodynamics, however I do think it adds a lot of insight into quantum electrodynamics and the physical effects of the vacuum. It is very detailed in the things it covers and often adds insight by looking at a problem from several angles. I also think parts of the book would be very useful for somebody studying atomic physics.
Academic Press has done it again: charge you more than 100$ for a crappy book. That is, very bad quality printing, the text seems like if scanned first and then printed in a laser wich gives it a piggy typeface, to complement this the pages are glued instead of sewn. Very well done, overall quality and durability of a cheap paperback for only 115$.