Question on QFT

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Question on QFT

Postby witten_high_pitch_voice » Sun May 21, 2006 4:31 am

For those of you who has taken QFT already (NOT those who wish to but not yet taken it) I have a question.
There are several textbooks on QFT and from my understanding the one by 'Mandl' is the shortest and easiest to follow, 'Zee' is fun to read, 'Peskin' is heavily calculation based, 'Weinberg' is beyond godlike.
So far I have taken quantum mechanics course using the book by 'Mandl' so I wonder if this will be enough preparation to take a course on QFT which uses the textbook by 'Mandl'? Or do I need further study in advanced Quantum mechanics using the book such as 'Sakurai'?
If any of you could advise me on this based on your experience in QFT, I would appreciate it.

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Postby mingsy » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:57 pm

This reply might be a bit late, but I hope it helps anyway.

After a grueling year of QFT and Advanced QFT at Cambridge I can definitely guarantee that you'd have to be mad to do both courses in the short time of 9 months and then sit for Tripos exams. Anyway, I found that Love and Bailin's Introduction to Gauge Field Theory to be really helpful as a first book. Even Peskin puts them in their biblio as a reccommended text. The path integral parts are good and so are the renormalization calculations. Not so much the gauge field parts which I think should be done first by learning the differential geometry behing gauge symmetry (Principal Bundles and all) and Lie Group theory anyway.

You don't really need Sakurai except maybe for an introduction to Feynman path integrals. But at the end of the everyone will have to read Peskin and Weinberg anyway. But I think it's just more rewarding to read an easier book or even several books just to build your understanding first especially renormalization which can give an early disbeliever like myself much unease.

Hope it helps.

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Postby Gti337 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:01 pm

I'm in field theory now and I think that as long as you'v had a solid undergrad quantum course you should be fine. I went from a course that used Griffiths straight to QFT. The quantum isn't that daunting but the field theory is. Having a course out of Goldstein and solid E&M would be helpful.

We use Peskin and Schroeder here and the calculations are pretty beastly. They're packaged nicely and seem logical but when you try and fill in the gaps of their calculations you see that it takes at least a page of two ( this is a direct quote from the books "After some Dirac algebra (just a page or two)") If you're doing it for fun I'd suggest Zee with splashes of Peskin or maybe the one by Kaku which is a little easier to follow.

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