A Prelude to Quantum Field Theory
John Donoghue, Lorenzo Sorbo
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A concise, beginner-friendly introduction to quantum field theory
Quantum field theory is a powerful framework that extends quantum mechanics in ways that are essential in many modern applications. While it is the fundamental formalism for the study of many areas of physics, quantum field theory requires a different way of thinking, and many newcomers to the subject struggle with the transition from quantum mechanics. A Prelude to Quantum Field Theory introduces the key concepts of quantum field theory in a brief and accessible manner while never sacrificing mathematical rigor. The result is an easy-to-use textbook that distills the most general properties of the theory without overwhelming beginning students with more advanced applications.
- Bridges quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, emphasizing analogies and differences
- Emphasizes a “quantum field theoretical mindset” while maintaining mathematical rigor
- Obtains quantum fields as the continuum limit of a quantized system of many particles
- Highlights the correspondence between wave function—fundamental in quantum mechanics—and the formalism of second quantization used in quantum field theory
- Provides a step-by-step derivation of Feynman rules for the perturbative study of interacting theories
- Introduces students to renormalization, path integrals techniques, and more
- Discusses more modern topics like effective field theories
- Ideal for both undergraduate and graduate students
- Proven in the classroom
Nucleon, Perturbation theory (quantum mechanics), Atomic physics, Quantum statistical mechanics, G-factor (physics), Positron, Helicity (particle physics), Classical mechanics, Meissner effect, Expectation value (quantum mechanics), Theory, Amplitude, Effective field theory, Gravitational constant, Particle number, Dimensional analysis, Higgs mechanism, Imaginary time, Creation and annihilation operators, Feynman diagram, Higgs boson, Degrees of freedom (mechanics), Gauge theory, Path integral formulation, Particle Data Group, Equation, Physicist, Fermi's golden rule, Wave equation, Dimension, Lagrangian (field theory), Dirac spinor, Graviton, Wick's theorem, Quantum harmonic oscillator, Fermion, Majorana fermion, Spinor field, Canonical quantization, Energy–momentum relation, Partition function (quantum field theory), Renormalization group, Classical physics, Lagrangian mechanics, Quantification (science), Quantum number, Lorentz group, Quantum fluctuation, Ground state, Photon, Antimatter, Classical limit, Propagator, Antiparticle, Action (physics), Quantum mechanics, Particle physics, Relativistic quantum mechanics, Statistical physics, Coupling constant, Quantum chromodynamics, Scalar (physics), Dirac delta function, Renormalization, Condensed matter physics, Calculation, Field (physics), Perturbation theory, Elementary particle, Magnetization, Diagram (category theory), Electromagnetic tensor, Ginzburg–Landau theory, Quantum gravity, Harmonic oscillator, Scattering amplitude, Equations of motion, Scalar field, Neutrino, Dirac fermion, Fermionic field, Dirac equation, Matrix element (physics), Unitarity (physics), Scientific notation, Electromagnetic field, Mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics, Minkowski space, Quantum electrodynamics, Lorentz transformation, Superconductivity, Prediction, Special relativity, Physics beyond the Standard Model, Planck constant, Quantum field theory, Lorentz covariance, Gauge covariant derivative, Electromagnetism, Dimensional regularization