Quantum Field Theory In A Nutshell

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darkmatter4brains

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Has anybody read this book!!! An accessible book on QFT that really helps bridge the gap between Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory. I'd be curious of others opinions, but I'm finding it a joy to read.

When I took Quantum Field Theory in school, we used Griffiths Intro to Elementary Particles (watered down QFT) and Itzykson (A REAL QFT book). The gap between the two seemed like a virtual chasm. As a result, I'm recently finding it fairly difficult to get into Itzykson even the second time around. I guess QFT is not like riding a bike! Zee's Nutshell book is helping out a lot.

Highly recommended!

Also,
Can anybody recommend a good GR book? We used The Big Black Book by Thorne and Wheeler and Schutz. I thought Schutz was a bit watered down and Thorne's book had a lot of older methods and was so darn long. Just bought Wald and it seems pretty good so far though ... but I'm not that far into it yet. I'd appreciate any other suggestions.
 
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ramparts

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Carroll for GR - very readable introduction, not as stern as Wald while still covering a lot of important topics in decent depth. I find Wald as more of a reference, personally, if I want to read up on conformal infinity or some other sort of advanced topic not in Carroll.

As for QFT, thanks for the book recommendation but I'm going to wait to finish another semester or two of regular quantum before even thinking about QFT! :lol: That will have to wait for grad school.
 
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darkmatter4brains

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Thanks ramparts! I thought you might have a GR suggestion. I'll have to check Carrol out too. I almost ordered that, but went with Wald instead, because, well, it was cheaper.

What are you guys using for QM? I recently read through Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics (not what I used in school) and it was great. It's been called a bit advanced, but it's so well written it's very accessible. Covers some extra topics such as Path Integrals and even the Dirac equation a bit too.
 
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ramparts

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Well, Carroll is worth the money. If I had to pick a GR book to read through to learn some new topics (or just as important, review old ones), I would (and frequently do) pick Carroll. Just this week I found it an invaluable reference for a problem I was working on. And on top of that, the whole production - typesetting and especially the cover - is beautiful.

Shankar's a smart guy! I haven't read his book but I plan to flip through it at some point. We use Griffiths. It's cute...on the front there's Schrodinger's cat, and on the back there's Schrodinger's cat dead :lol:
 
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drwayne

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For quantum, the two book series by Cohen Tannoudji et. al. is a semi-modern classic.

A lesser known, but quite good text is "Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics" by Anderson.
Don't let the title fool you, it is a QM book, not a lesser Modern Physics book. It was a HUGE
help to me in graduate school.

Both of these are in my office as we speak, I still refer to them from time to time. On the other hand:

In graduate school, we used Schiff, which was NOT a good book. As an undergraduate, French and Taylor,
which was OK, but bordering on a high level Modern Physics tome.
 
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darkmatter4brains

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That's funny, we used Griffiths as one of our texts too, but believe it or not, when I started the class I wasn't yet familar with Schrodinger's paradox, so I couldn't figure out why a cat was on my QM book! Sounds like he hasn't made a new edition in quite a while, or at least used the same cover.

Griffiths writes a good text book. I used him to help me with one section in Shankar on Clebsch–Gordan coefficients. Those things are a guaranteed headache every time.
 
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ramparts

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ARGH! Those tables! I had a problem set on those last week :lol:
 
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drwayne

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darkmatter4brains":3o0t9uxu said:
Griffiths writes a good text book. I used him to help me with one section in Shankar on Clebsch–Gordan coefficients. Those things are a guaranteed headache every time.
Anderson was helpful to me in that area
 
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darkmatter4brains

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drwayne":3sem85i6 said:
darkmatter4brains":3sem85i6 said:
Griffiths writes a good text book. I used him to help me with one section in Shankar on Clebsch–Gordan coefficients. Those things are a guaranteed headache every time.
Anderson was helpful to me in that area
Thanks drwayne. I'll have to check that one out too.
 
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drwayne

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The funny part of my history with Anderson* is that it was a demo book that was being given
away by a faculty member that was leaving. I grabbed it without looking at it much, and
I really didn't expect much given the title. One night, a year or so later, in desperation on
a homework set, I picked it up and it really helped.

Liboff's "Introductory Quantum Mechanics" is another quite good book. I have it here at home.

Wayne

*The cover of my copy is also a somewhat non-serious orange, which had not changed the last time
I looked
 
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drwayne

Guest
Note that the sort of text that speaks to you can vary according to person, and even from
chapter to chapter, and topic to topic.

One of my facorite books, the Berkley Series book by Reif on Statistical and Thermal Physics
is out of print. (And some idiot stole it from me years ago)

Wayne
 
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ramparts

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drwayne, the Amazon Marketplace is a beautiful thing! :) I recently picked up Peebles' big physical cosmology book there for under $10 (in glorious hardcover, no less). It looks like they have your stat mech book for a reasonable price too, though I'm not sure which edition it is.
 
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drwayne

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I'll have to look into that. That was one of the best courses I ever took at Vassar. (Helped
that it was taught by an excellent professor)
 
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