# Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur

## Book Description

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, with forbidding 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 towards understanding 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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### Table of Contents

Part I The Universe as a set of harmonic oscillators

Chapter 1 Lagrangians

Chapter 2 Simple Harmonic Oscillators

Chapter 3 Occupation Number Representation

Chapter 4 Making Second Quantization Work

Part II Writing down Lagrangians

Chapter 5 Continuous Systems

Chapter 6 A First Stab At Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

Chapter 7 Examples Of Lagrangians, Or How To Write Down A Theory

Part III The need for quantum fields

Chapter 8 The Passage Of Time

Chapter 9 Quantum Mechanical Transformations

Chapter 10 Symmetry

Chapter 11 Canonical Quantization Of Fields

Chapter 12 Examples Of Canonical Quantization

Chapter 13 Fields With Many Components And Massive Electromagnetism

Chapter 14 Gauge Fields And Gauge Theory

Chapter 15 Discrete Transformations

Part IV Propagators and perturbations

Chapter 16 Propagators And Green’S Functions

Chapter 17 Propagators And Fields

Chapter 18 The S-Matrix

Chapter 19 Expanding The S-Matrix: Feynman Diagrams

Chapter 20 Scattering Theory

Part V Interlude: wisdom from statistical physics

Chapter 21 Statistical Physics: A Crash Course

Chapter 22 The Generating Functional For Fields

Part VI Path integrals

Chapter 23 Path Integrals: I Said To Him, ‘You’Re Crazy’

Chapter 24 Field Integrals

Chapter 25 Statistical Field Theory

Chapter 26 Broken Symmetry

Chapter 27 Coherent States

Chapter 28 Grassmann Numbers: Coherent States And The Path Integral For Fermions

Part VII Topological ideas

Chapter 29 Topological Objects

Chapter 30 Topological Field Theory

Part VIII Renormalization: taming the infinite

Chapter 31 Renormalization, Quasiparticles And The Fermi Surface

Chapter 32 Renormalization: The Problem And Its Solution

Chapter 33 Renormalization In Action: Propagators And Feynman Diagrams

Chapter 34 The Renormalization Group

Chapter 35 Ferromagnetism: A Renormalization Group Tutorial

Part IX Putting a spin on QFT

Chapter 36 The Dirac Equation

Chapter 37 How To Transform A Spinor

Chapter 38 The Quantum Dirac Field

Chapter 39 A Rough Guide To Quantum Electrodynamics

Chapter 40 Qed Scattering: Three Famous Cross-Sections

Chapter 41 The Renormalization Of Qed And Two Great Results

Part X Some applications from the world of condensed matter

Chapter 42 Superfluids

Chapter 43 The Many-Body Problem And The Metal

Chapter 44 Superconductors

Chapter 45 The Fractional Quantum Hall Fluid

Part XI Some applications from the world of particle physics

Chapter 46 Non-Abelian Gauge Theory

Chapter 47 The Weinberg–Salam Model

Chapter 48 Majorana Fermions

Chapter 49 Magnetic Monopoles

Chapter 50 Instantons, Tunnelling And The End Of The World

Appendix A Further Reading

Appendix B Useful Complex Analysis

## Book Details

- Title: Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur
- Author: Stephen J. Blundell, Tom Lancaster
- Length: 512 pages
- Edition: 1
- Language: English
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 2014-06-17
- ISBN-10: 019969933X
- ISBN-13: 9780199699339

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