The Conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory

Hardcover | August 17, 2012

byAnthony Duncan

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The book attempts to provide an introduction to quantum field theory emphasizing conceptual issues frequently neglected in more "utilitarian" treatments of the subject. The book is divided into four parts, entitled respectively "Origins", "Dynamics", "Symmetries", and "Scales". The emphasisis conceptual - the aim is to build the theory up systematically from some clearly stated foundational concepts - and therefore to a large extent anti-historical, but two historical Chapters ("Origins") are included to situate quantum field theory in the larger context of modern physical theories. The three remaining sections of the book follow a step by step reconstruction of this framework beginning with just a few basic assumptions: relativistic invariance, the basic principles of quantum mechanics, and the prohibition of physical action at a distance embodied in the clustering principle.The ``Dynamics" section of the book lays out the basic structure of quantum field theory arising from the sequential insertion of quantum-mechanical, relativistic and locality constraints. The central role of symmetries in relativistic quantum field theories is explored in the third section of thebook, while in the final section, entitled "Scales", we explore in detail the feature of quantum field theories most critical for their enormous phenomenological success - the scale separation property embodied by the renormalization group properties of a theory defined by an effective localLagrangian.

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The book attempts to provide an introduction to quantum field theory emphasizing conceptual issues frequently neglected in more "utilitarian" treatments of the subject. The book is divided into four parts, entitled respectively "Origins", "Dynamics", "Symmetries", and "Scales". The emphasisis conceptual - the aim is to build the theor...

Anthony Duncan is Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:768 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.01 inPublished:August 17, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199573263

ISBN - 13:9780199573264

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Table of Contents

Part I: Origins1. From the Arrow of Time to the First Quantum Field2. Gestation and Birth of Interacting Field Theory- From Dirac to Shelter IslandPart II: Dynamics3. The Physical Ingredients of Quantum Field Theory - Dynamics, Symmetries, Scales4. Quantum Mechanical Preliminaries5. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics6. Aspects of Locality - Clustering, Microcausality, and Analyticity7. Construction of Local Covariant Fields8. The Classical Limit of Quantum Fields9. Interacting Fields- General Aspects10. Interacting Fields- Perturbative Aspects11. Interacting Fields - Nonperturbative AspectsPart III: Symmetries12. Continuous Space-time Symmetry - Why we need Lagrangians in Field Theory13. Discrete Space-time Symmetries14. Global Symmetries in Field Theory15. Local Symmetries in Field TheoryPart IV: Scales16. Scale Sensitivity of Field Theory Amplitudes and Effective Field Theories17. Perturbatively Renormalizable Field Theories18. Short-distance Structure of Quantum Field Theory19. Long-distance Structure of Quantum Field Theory

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "This is not your average quantum field theory book. Duncan provides a new perspecetive on the field, emphasising a number of conceptual and technical aspects that are usually brushed conveniently under the carpet. This should be high on the reading list of anyserious researcher." --David Tong, University of Cambridge