Friday, August 01, 2014

QFT and All That

I have always thought that any physicist should have a good grasp of quantum field theory. I have taken a couple of courses in the subject, own dozens of books about it, and have worked probably a couple of hundred QFT problems, few of which I probably remember how to do today. The fact is, I don't have a solid grasp of QFT, but it's not exactly for lack of trying.

I mention this fact because there are a few new and highly touted QFT books out there. In particular, these:

Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur, by Lancaster and Blundell. I'm not really an amateur, and I'm certainly not gifted, so might this be appropriate? Hard to say. I don't think they've written QFT for the Dumb ex-Pro yet.

Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory, by Robert D. Klauber. Of course I'm not really much of a student, so would friendliness help?

Finally, Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model, by Matthew D. Schwartz. This does seem like the professional version, but would I learn anything from it, and what is it I want to learn anyway. I probably wouldn't get that much out of learning how to calculate the Lamb shift again. QCD cross sections? Not really. What renormalization means really? Well maybe.

But I would like to have a clearer idea of how the whole thing fits together.