Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur

Paperback | April 30, 2014

byTom Lancaster, Stephen J. Blundell

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Quantum field theory is arguably the most far-reaching and beautiful physical theory ever constructed, with aspects more stringently tested and verified to greater precision than any other theory in physics. Unfortunately, the subject has gained a notorious reputation for difficulty, withforbidding looking mathematics and a peculiar diagrammatic language described in an array of unforgiving, weighty textbooks aimed firmly at aspiring professionals. However, quantum field theory is too important, too beautiful, and too engaging to be restricted to the professionals. This book on quantum field theory is designed to be different. It is written by experimental physicists and aims to provide the interested amateur with a bridge from undergraduate physics to quantum field theory. The imagined reader is a gifted amateur, possessing a curious and adaptable mind,looking to be told an entertaining and intellectually stimulating story, but who will not feel patronised if a few mathematical niceties are spelled out in detail. Using numerous worked examples, diagrams, and careful physically motivated explanations, this book will smooth the path towardsunderstanding the radically different and revolutionary view of the physical world that quantum field theory provides, and which all physicists should have the opportunity to experience.

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Quantum field theory is arguably the most far-reaching and beautiful physical theory ever constructed, with aspects more stringently tested and verified to greater precision than any other theory in physics. Unfortunately, the subject has gained a notorious reputation for difficulty, withforbidding looking mathematics and a peculiar di...

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.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.68 inPublished:April 30, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019969933X

ISBN - 13:9780199699339

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Table of Contents

OvertureI: The Universe as a set of harmonic oscillators1. Lagrangians2. Simple harmonic oscillators3. Occupation number representation4. Making second quantization workII: Writing down Lagrangians5. Continuous systems6. A first stab at relativistic quantum mechanics7. Examples of Lagrangians, or how to write down a theoryIII: The need for quantum fields8. The passage of time9. Quantum mechanical transformations10. Symmetry11. Canonical quantization of fields12. Examples of canonical quantization13. Fields with many components and massive electromagnetism14. Gauge fields and gauge theory15. Discrete transformationsIV: Propagators and perturbations16. Ways of doing quantum mechanics: propagators and Green's functions17. Propagators and Fields18. The S-matrix19. Expanding the S-matrix: Feynman diagrams20. Scattering theoryV: Interlude: wisdom from statistical physics21. Statistical physics: a crash course22. The generating functional for fieldsVI: Path Integrals23. Path Integrals: I said to him, "You're crazy"24. Field Integrals25. Statistical field theory26. Broken symmetry27. Coherent states28. Grassmann numbers: coherent states and the path integral for fermionsVII: Topological ideas29. Topological objects30. Topological field theoryVIII: Renormalization: taming the infinite31. Renormalization, quasiparticles and the Fermi surface32. Renormalization: the problem and its solution33. Renormalization in action: propagators and Feynman diagrams34. The renormalization group35. Ferromagnetism: a renormalization group tutorialIX: Putting a spin on QFT36. The Dirac equation37. How to transform a spinor38. The quantum Dirac field39. A rough guide to quantum electrodynamics40. QED scattering: three famous cross sections41. The renormalization of QED and two great resultsX: Some applications from the world of condensed matter42. Superfluids43. The many-body problem and the metal44. Superconductors45. The fractional quantum Hall fluidXI: Some applications from the world of particle physics46. Non-abelian gauge theory47. The Weinberg-Salam model48. Majorana fermions49. Magnetic monopoles50. Instantons, tunnelling and the end of the worldAppendix A: Further readingAppendix B: Useful complex analysis