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Cover

Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur

Tom Lancaster and Stephen J. Blundell

17 April 2014

ISBN: 9780199699339

512 pages
Paperback
246x189mm

In Stock

Price: £34.99

Quantum field theory provides the theoretical backbone to most modern physics. This book is designed to bring quantum field theory to a wider audience of physicists. It is packed with worked examples, witty diagrams, and applications intended to introduce a new audience to this revolutionary theory.

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Description

Quantum field theory provides the theoretical backbone to most modern physics. This book is designed to bring quantum field theory to a wider audience of physicists. It is packed with worked examples, witty diagrams, and applications intended to introduce a new audience to this revolutionary theory.

  • Solutions manual available on request from the OUP website
  • Provides the curious amateur with a bridge from undergraduate physics to quantum field theory
  • Packed with worked examples, witty diagrams, and applications intended to introduce a new audience to this revolutionary theory
  • Mathematical steps clearly explained, providing careful help for those trying to learn the subject
  • A balance of particle physics and condensed matter applications makes the book accessible for all students, independent of background

About the Author(s)

Tom Lancaster, Lecturer in Physics, Department of Physics, University of Durham, and Stephen J. Blundell, Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford

Tom Lancaster was a Research Fellow in Physics at the University of Oxford, before becoming a Lecturer at the University of Durham in 2012.

Stephen J. Blundell is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

    Overture
    I: The Universe as a set of harmonic oscillators
    1:Lagrangians
    2:Simple harmonic oscillators
    3:Occupation number representation
    4:Making second quantization work
    II: Writing down Lagrangians
    5:Continuous systems
    6:A first stab at relativistic quantum mechanics
    7:Examples of Lagrangians, or how to write down a theory
    III: The need for quantum fields
    8:The passage of time
    9:Quantum mechanical transformations
    10:Symmetry
    11:Canonical quantization of fields
    12:Examples of canonical quantization
    13:Fields with many components and massive electromagnetism
    14:Gauge fields and gauge theory
    15:Discrete transformations
    IV: Propagators and perturbations
    16:Ways of doing quantum mechanics: propagators and Green's functions
    17:Propagators and Fields
    18:The S-matrix
    19:Expanding the S-matrix: Feynman diagrams
    20:Scattering theory
    V: Interlude: wisdom from statistical physics
    21:Statistical physics: a crash course
    22:The generating functional for fields
    VI: Path Integrals
    23:Path Integrals: I said to him, "You're crazy"
    24:Field Integrals
    25:Statistical field theory
    26:Broken symmetry
    27:Coherent states
    28:Grassmann numbers: coherent states and the path integral for fermions
    VII: Topological ideas
    29:Topological objects
    30:Topological field theory
    VIII: Renormalization: taming the infinite
    31:Renormalization, quasiparticles and the Fermi surface
    32:Renormalization: the problem and its solution
    33:Renormalization in action: propagators and Feynman diagrams
    34:The renormalization group
    35:Ferromagnetism: a renormalization group tutorial
    IX: Putting a spin on QFT
    36:The Dirac equation
    37:How to transform a spinor
    38:The quantum Dirac field
    39:A rough guide to quantum electrodynamics
    40:QED scattering: three famous cross sections
    41:The renormalization of QED and two great results
    X: Some applications from the world of condensed matter
    42:Superfluids
    43:The many-body problem and the metal
    44:Superconductors
    45:The fractional quantum Hall fluid
    XI: Some applications from the world of particle physics
    46:Non-abelian gauge theory
    47:The Weinberg-Salam model
    48:Majorana fermions
    49:Magnetic monopoles
    50:Instantons, tunnelling and the end of the world
    Appendix A: Further reading
    Appendix B: Useful complex analysis

Reviews

"A treasury of contemporary material presented concisely and lucidly in a format that I can recommend for independent study ... I believe that this volume offers an attractive, new "rock and roll" approach, filling a large void in the spectrum of QFT books." - Johann Rafelski, CERN Courier

"The authors succeed remarkably in opening up the concepts of Quantum Field Theory to a broad, physically and mathematically trained readership. [...] The book is a valuable addition to the wide range of QFT books already available, and is suitable as self-study for the novice, as accompaniment for courses, and also as a valuable reference for those already familiar with the subject." - Physik Journal

"This is a wonderful, and much needed book ... Why have the authors been so successful? It is the way the book has been structured. Each of the 50 chapters is short. Every chapter starts with a readable plan of what is to be explained and why; and finishes with a compact summary of the key ideas that have been covered. Moreover, the language is kept as simple as possible. The aim is always to be clear and difficult ideas are approached gently. The text is interspersed with a large number of detailed worked examples which are central to the story and which are arranged so as not to intimidate the reader ... They have produced an accessible book that gives us a wonderful opportunity to understand QFT and its numerous applications" - Alan D. Martin, Contemporary Physics

"There is a need for a book on Quantum Field Theory that is not directed at specialists but, rather, sets out the concepts underlying this subject for a broader scientific audience and conveys joy in their beauty. Lancaster and Blundell have written with this goal in mind, and they have succeeded admirably." - Michael Peskin, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University.

"This wonderful and exciting book is optimal for physics graduate students. The authors are brilliant educators who use worked examples, diagrams and mathematical hints placed in the margins to perfect their pedagogy and explain quantum field theory" - Barry R. Masters, Optics & Photonics News

Additional Resources

A solutions manual is available for this title. Please click here to order your copy.

A solutions manual is available for this title. Please click here to order your copy.

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