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41. Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals:
42. Quantum Physics For Dummies
43. Quantum Theory of the Electron
44. Quantum Theory at the Crossroads:
45. Variational Principles in Dynamics
46. Quantum Mechanics-Nonrelativistic
47. Quantum Field Theory: A Modern
48. QED: The Strange Theory of Light
49. Quantum Theory of Many-Particle
50. Quantum Field Theory in Curved
51. Quantum Theory of Solids
52. Scattering Theory: The Quantum
53. Measurement and Time Reversal
54. Quantum Field Theory in Curved
55. Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical
56. A Modern Introduction to Quantum
57. Algebraic Methods in Statistical
58. The Quantum Theory of Radiation:
59. Quantum Theory and Measurement
60. Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods

41. Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals: Emended Edition (Dover Books on Physics)
by Richard P. Feynman, Albert R. Hibbs, Daniel F. Styer
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-07-21)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486477223
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The developer of path integrals, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman, presents unique insights into this method and its applications. Feynman starts with an intuitive view of fundamental quantum mechanics, gradually introducing path integrals. Later chapters explore more advanced topics, including the perturbation method, quantum electrodynamics, and statistical mechanics. 1965 edition, emended in 2005.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
Softcover, with the front cover a little curled. The overall quality is fine, and the content is without doubt worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars classic
This is a classic on path integrals by one of the founders of the subject, finally in Dover edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Return of a classic
It is wonderful to see this extraordinary work back in print, especially in this attractive low cost Dover edition.As an added bonus, the myriad misprints that plagued the original 1965 printing (and caused me such grief when I first read it in high school) have been corrected.

The path integral approach, so clearly explained in this volume, derived from Feynman's graduate research at Princeton where he applied variational principles to quantum mechanics.This, in turn, was motivated by a seminal 1932 paper of Dirac.

At the time, the formalism appeared to provide only an elegant means of deriving the wave equation without achieving any new results.But elegant mathematics always seems to have a way of finding application in physics.Just look at how formerly "obscure" topics like Lie algebras and differential geometry have become part of the essential language of particle physics.And path integral methods have proved useful in fields ranging from quantum electrodynamics to acoustic propagation.

Like all of Feynman's works, this text combines sound, if unconventional, mathematics with remarkable physical insight.There is still no better introduction to the topics treated here.This book is required reading for anyone wishing to understand quantum mechanics (at least in so far as anyone can understand quantum mechanics) and who intends to pursue more advanced topics.

Heartily recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars If you liked volumes I and II of the Lectures...
The Feynman Lectures deserve their status as classics, bringing novel insights and clarity even to topics that one would think ancient and musty (e.g. his exposition of radio waves). I'm not sure I would recommend them as undergraduate texts, since there may be too much wizardry where the solutions depend on deep insights or unexpected symmetries, with perhaps too few examples of brute calculation and no exercises to be worked by the student. However, they are unsurpassed when used to supplement the usual treatments or just to appreciate the beauty of the subject. For some reason, I never had the same feeling toward Volume III (Quantum Mechanics). In part, I think this is because he was trying too hard to reconcile the usual Schroedinger description with his own version of Quantum Mechanics, namely the least action/ path integral approach used in this text. Without the same constraint here (although he does very elegantly derive the wave equation from the least action principle), I experienced the same sense of wonder and awe that I felt from his earlier treatment of mechanics and electricity/magnetism. Although it's only my personal opinion, I would recommend this as the true successor to volumes I and II of the Lectures.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for anyone interested in Particle Physics or String Theory
It is a gospel for all physics students that this masterpiece is finally available as a Dover edition. Written by Feynman himself, this book explains the path integral approach to quantum mechanics in a way that is understandable to every beginning quantum mechanic. Path integrals are integral (sorry, bad English) to the study of quantum field theory and string theory, and you must be a master at it if you would like to work in either of these fields. Purchase this book at once and start working!
... Read more

42. Quantum Physics For Dummies
by Steven Holzner
Paperback: 336 Pages (2009-02-03)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$11.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470381884
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Quantum Physics For Dummies helps make quantum physics understandable and accessible. From what quantum physics can do for the world to understanding hydrogen atoms, readers will get complete coverage of the subject, along with numerous examples to help them tackle the tough equations. Compatible with classroom text books and courses, Quantum Physics For Dummies lets students study at their own paces and helps them prepare for graduate or professional exams. Coverage includes:

  • The Schrodinger Equation and its Applications
  • The Foundations of Quantum Physics
  • Vector Notation
  • Spin
  • Scattering Theory, Angular Momentum, and more
... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

2-0 out of 5 stars Unacceptable errors by any measure
NOTE: In this review, due to HTML, I will use [] brackets instead of the regular bra-ket notation brackets.

If this book was about poetry or even programming, occasional typo or error would be acceptable. Because in the case of the former, one could probably know what the author meant. In the case of the latter, programming, one could probably try and correct the error in the program code by deferring to compiler.

However, in a book that uses mathematics, even the smallest omission or error can leave one in a very confused state.

I am only on page 40 and will return the book to the store. There are numerous errors, typos and omissions of explanations in the book.
Furthermore there is no errata on the dummies website that I can see.

Some examples of the lack of explanation already on page 30: where the author connects the bra and the ket into [psi|psi], not explaining where the double || bar went. Also, on the next page 31, the author introduces a new variable "phi", without explaining that the choice of the variable name is irrelevant and it is just a convention. Initially I attached special meaning to variables "psi" and "phi".

The explanation of what a "linear" operator is, is just horrible on page 36, where the author manipulates the "phi", "psi" and "chi" symbols with no apparent logic, only to conclude in the end:

"Thus, |phi][psi| is indeed a linear operator".

Regarding errors, on page 35, the matrix R is really messed up, with 200 instead of 2 etc...
On page 37, 4th rule states :

"4. Write your final equation
[psi|A^+|phi] = [phi|A|psi "

Now, where did the right ] bracket go? There is no explanation whatsoever that the heck just happened in step 4.

In any case, I find chapter 2 extremely confusing. Chapter 1 was ok.

I can't see how people could rate this book 5 stars, except maybe that they were paid by someone or given a free copy for review - and reviewed it with a high score in order to receive More free books.

PS: I am a dummy but I did take 3rd year calculus and 3rd year linear algebra in university.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a dummies book. Written for a different audience.
There is clearly an audience for this book as evidenced by the many thoughtful reviews. The authors and editors of this series are congratulated on their ever expandingseries of books on math and physics. You will need a basic understading of linear equations and differential equations to enjoy this book. It would have been helpful for the workbook to include more examples worked out of Eigenvectors, unitary matrices, andHermetian matrices . Many of the operator functions would make much more sense if the multiplication were actually worked out. In addition the proofs of the Heisenberg and Schrodinger equations are missing steps. I would encourage Dr Holzner and the editors of the series to consider a second edition of both this book and the workbook.Chapter 2 of the textbook and the corresponding excercises in the workbook should be markedly expanded to more fully cover all math mentioned above. It would not be difficult to make this a 5 star book.The beauty of this math and physics should be able to be appeciated by many more people. Teaching the math is the hard part. As evidenced by his differential equations workbook Dr. Holzner should be able to rewrite the present texts to be better understood by a wider audience.

1-0 out of 5 stars Rated U- For Useless
I bought this book hoping to learn a little about this crazy phenomenon called quantum mechanics. Instead, I got a book or derivations, little insight, and more Greek letters than the Rosetta Stone. Hard to read, little explanatory value, not enough illustrations, and quite a few typos. I can't even figure out who this is marketed to. Clearly, it's not for people that don't have experience with Calculus/Differential equations/ Probability Theory / Linear Algebra/ and knowledge of wave mechanics. They completely skip any intro on any current theories or any explanation of basic particles.
I can't even see the value of having this if you already know something about the subject, since who wants to walk through a bunch of algebraic derivations of some equation that you already know, since you are not a Dummy.
This book is the problem with the whole field. Everybody hides behind some math curtain, citing how important the Schrödinger equation is, pretending that all this math means something, when they actually know very little about the subject in general.


1-0 out of 5 stars A sales con job
A contradiction!! Anything but a general overview for novice readers I want my money back

1-0 out of 5 stars Not for dummies
This book is not for dummies.It is full of equations from the beginning.The preface indicates it is written at a college course level and assumes you are knowledgeable about calculus. I wanted to have the concept of Quantum Physics explained in layman's terms.Therefore, the description of the book on Amazon should state clearly the level of knowledge required for this book.It really does not belong in the Dummies series. ... Read more

43. Quantum Theory of the Electron Liquid
by Gabriele Giuliani, Giovanni Vignale
Paperback: 800 Pages (2008-06-19)
list price: US$70.00 -- used & new: US$64.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521527961
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Modern electronic devices and novel materials often derive their extraordinary properties from the intriguing, complex behavior of large numbers of electrons forming what is known as an electron liquid. This book introduces the quantum theory of the electron liquid and the mathematical techniques that describe it. The electron liquid's behavior is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics which prevail over the microscopic world of atoms and molecules. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars New Bible
A wonderful book: clearly a product of careful thought, and love. It is a timely "Pines and Nozieres" for the new generations. I find myself reading the first chapters over and over again, and always getting something new out of it. In spite of having read numerous accounts regarding subtle issues in density functional theory, I had never properly understood some of the important aspects (e.g. derivative discontinuities) until after reading their original presentation in chapter 7. I agree 100% with the review of R. Pepino, and would only like to add my praise for the lively writing style, which I find captivating: A pleasure to study, or even simply read.Its perfect mix of seriousness and passion, makes of The Quantum Theory of the Electron Liquid a major work that is both authoritative and engaging.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
This is a kind of book rare to find nowadays. It seems to be the result of a long and careful investigation of the literature, of reflection, of deep physical understanding. It avoids hand-waving, "phenomenological", jargon and fashionable types of arguments, in favor of well grounded, logical and mathematically solid arguments. It is the opposite of most we find today, that is, it is not a set of "lectures" quickly transformed into textbook; it is not the point of view of the authors, defended by phraseology; it is not a biased book. It is really a wonderful book, very well written, displaying love by the subject, strong curiosity and search for the truth.
Congratulations to the authors! May their book inspire other physicists to search truth instead of glory and fame. May their book inspire the young to avoid the fashion and easy way. May their book become a classic because it truly deserves.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding job
Written with the student in mind, this book gives an excellent introduction to density functional theory, many-body quantum theory, and their application to the physical system now known as the electron liquid. Given the current interest in electron liquids, both from an applied and a theoretical standpoint, this book serves a need for those who want to educate themselves on the different techniques and strategies used to study the behavior of electron liquids, and general many-body systems. The authors of the book emphasize modern developments, and give many references for those readers who want to pursue the subject in even more detail. An understanding of both the physical and mathematical ideas in the book require concentrated effort, but anyone who has decided to read such a sizable book realizes that true insight into any subject only comes from such an effort. The authors understand this, and they do not hesitate to elaborate on sophisticated concepts when they arise. But they also interject informal and colloquial language in many places in the text. This serves to set the reader more at ease, and makes for even more enjoyable reading.

Readers (such as this reviewer) who have a background in high energy physics or relativistic quantum field theory will find many of the concepts used in these fields find application in the theory of electron liquids. In addition, many of the concepts used in high-energy physics, such as the idea of spontaneously broken symmetries, arose in condensed matter and many-body physics. The symbiosis of ideas between these different fields has been a fruitful one and this will no doubt continue in the years to come. An example of this is the Chern-Simons theory, which arose in the context of quantum chromodynamics as a theory of the strong interaction, and finds its way in this book in the discussion on the Laughlin theory of the fractional quantum Hall liquid. This theory, as the authors point out, is based on a careful choice of wave functions, and therefore cannot be viewed as systematic in its strategy in finding solutions. The Chern-Simons theory is brought in to provide a more systematic approach. It is a fascinating strategy, for using it one maps the problem of the two-dimensional electron liquid into an equivalent many-body problem of interacting composite particles. One can then use a mean-field approximation on the latter system. This approach is somewhat similar to the "duality" phenomena found in string theories (although the analogy is somewhat loose). The Chern-Simon theory also finds its place in purely mathematical contexts, such as topological quantum field theory and the theory of knots, and readers with a background in this area will see familiar constructions in the author's discussions. The authors derive an expression for the electromagnetic response function for a system of composite particles that satisfies Kohn's theorem, but point out that it does not have the correct scaling properties.

The authors give a thorough overview of density functional theory, with emphasis placed not only on the formalism but also on its utility in solving many-body problems. Readers growing up in the usual formalism of Hilbert spaces will need justification as to the power of density functional methods and how one can still calculate quantities of interest without really using the many-body wave function. And, anyone who has tried to perform numerical computations of quantum-mechanical quantities understands the need for algorithms that are manageable, i.e. that allow the computation of physical quantities in a reasonable time scale. The authors point out though that the Kohn-Sham equations, which result after the minimization of the energy as a functional of the electron density, can be solved computationally on a time scale that increases as a power of the number of electrons. This is to be contrasted with the computation of the solution of the N-electron Schrodinger equation, which depends exponentially on N. However, as in all problems in constrained optimization, there is no free lunch (this has been proven rigorously), and so there is always a penalty to be paid in any solution strategy. For the Kohn-Sham equations, one uses the `effective potential' that is local in space, but has a nonlocal dependence on the density, allowing only an approximate description. Another penalty arises from using the determinantal wave function in the solution of the Kohn-Sham equations does not give a robust approximation to the true ground-state wave function. The last penalty arises because of the "universal" nature of density functional: it has the same form for all physical systems and so does not bring out the physical properties that are unique to a particular one. In addition to these issues, readers who insist on constructive approaches to mathematical proof will reject the proof of the Hohenberg-Kohn theorem, since it relies on proof by contradiction. In physical applications this is a minor issue of course, but in attempts to put density functional theory, indeed all of quantum field theory, on a constructive rigorous mathematical foundation, this issue is of importance. The authors (correctly) have no intention of respecting mathematical rigor, and state so explicitly. Instead they emphasize the physics behind the formalism and discuss the experimental evidence for it. Indeed, the book is full of examples of this evidence, and the appropriate references are given. Most of the discussion on the experimental situation is given in the context of the quantum Hall effect, which seems appropriate given that the authors have made original contributions to the understanding of this effect.

[DISCLOSURE: This reviewer knows the second author personally, but did not discuss this review with him. The opinions above are an honest assessment of the content of the book, and were not influenced, at least consciously, by any personal knowledge of the author.]

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
This book is truly a valuable and unique resource for physicists and quantum chemists interested in the structure and dynamics of electronic systems, especially (but not solely) in the solid-state. It presents the standard theories, as well as very recent cutting-edge developments, for example, extensions of density functional theory to time-dependent phenomena and current-densities -- all with elegant derivations and beautiful explanations. The authors have an extremely engaging writing style, which makes the book one of the most enjoyable physics books I have read. Many of the exercises at the end of each chapter are fascinating in themselves, instructive, and clearly explained.
I feel this book will prove to be a wonderful treasure for graduate students, postdocs, and professors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is the one of best overall book on the electronic theory of solids. It certainly covers all relevant aspect one could ever want to know about the topic and does a phenomenal job of clearly explaining and demonstrating the material. The best example is the chapter dedicated to the Fermi liquid with the very illuminating explanations of the theory of quasiparticles. This book is easy to read and its lecture does not require advanced mathematical knowledge. It is an excellent textbook and a very good start point for research problems. It is also remarkable the use of state of the art results and the elimination of several common misconceptions. I must say that the exercises are a good opportunity to better understand the material. ... Read more

44. Quantum Theory at the Crossroads: Reconsidering the 1927 Solvay Conference
by Guido Bacciagaluppi, Antony Valentini
Hardcover: 556 Pages (2009-11-30)
list price: US$126.00 -- used & new: US$105.38
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Asin: 0521814219
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The 1927 Solvay conference was perhaps the most important in the history of quantum theory. Contrary to popular belief, questions of interpretation were not settled at this conference. Instead, a range of sharply conflicting views were extensively discussed, including de Broglie's pilot-wave theory (which de Broglie presented for a many-body system), Born and Heisenberg's 'quantum mechanics' (which apparently lacked wave function collapse or fundamental time evolution), and Schrödinger's wave mechanics. Today, there is no longer a dominant interpretation of quantum theory, so it is important to re-evaluate the historical sources and keep the debate open. This book contains a complete translation of the original proceedings, with essays on the three main interpretations presented, and a detailed analysis of the lectures and discussions in the light of current research. This book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in physics and in the history and philosophy of quantum theory. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sacred Texts
Being able to read the original papers presented by de Broglie andSchrodinger at the 1927 Solvay Conference, and the ensuing discussions, is thrilling. Realizing the depth of those early 20th century physicists'background in classical mechanics, electromagnetism and relativity is an education in itself. That alone would make this collection worth the stiff price.The expert, technical commentary by B & V is extremely valuable. A paperback edition for students is needed.

The book is a page-turner. OK I didn't slog through the lengthy paper by Bragg, but I should have.

1-0 out of 5 stars No gold in them thar hills - already well mined. Thumbs down,
This book is not for the layman. It may be useful to PhD quantum mechanics and philosophers of physics who are used to reading boring uninspired traditional academic prose. There are two much better books on the same subject both written by women - the late Mara Beller's "Quantum Dialogues" and Sheila Jones's "The Quantum Ten". Read them first.

For the record I am partial to Bohm's ontological interpretation of quantum theory and am not opposed to Valentini et-al's defense of it.

Jack Sarfatti, PhD (physics, University of California degree)
[...] ... Read more

45. Variational Principles in Dynamics and Quantum Theory (Dover Books on Physics)
by Wolfgang Yourgrau, Stanley Mandelstam
Paperback: 224 Pages (2007-03-15)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486458881
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Focusing on applications relevant to modern physics, this text for advanced undergraduates and graduate students surveys variational principles, examining their relationship to dynamics and quantum theory. It stresses the history and theory of these concepts rather than their mechanics, providing many insights into the development of quantum mechanics. 1968 edition.
... Read more

46. Quantum Mechanics-Nonrelativistic Theory (Course on Theoretical Physics, Vol 3)
by L. D. Landau
 Hardcover: 673 Pages (1981-06)
list price: US$51.00
Isbn: 0080209408
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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'...every page shows evidence of great mastery of the subject.' Trans. Faraday Society'this book is destined to play a major part in the future education of theoretical physicists.'Proceedings of the Physical SocietyThis edition has been completely
revised to include some 20% of new material. Important recent developments such as the theory of Regge poles are now included. Many problems with solutions have been added to those already contained in the book.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterly treatment of the subject
This is a very good book on non-relativistic quantum mechanics by an acknowledged master of theoretical physics. Almost every sentence is meaningful and well thought out. However this book is not meant for a novice who wishes to study the subject for the first time. Landau's unique perspectives on this subject (as well as others in his famous Course of Theoretical Physics) is best appreciated by physicists who are well versed in their disciplines. The reader should also be aware that recent developments such as quantum entanglement and quantum computation are not in the book. All in all, a very good book to add to your physics collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent theoretical course
Thiswonderful course of theoretical physics is written by outstanding scientists and is deep and clear. It gives you the opportunity not only to become acquainted withthe basic problems of quantum mechanics but also tofeel what is physical intuition and method of theoretical thinking. Theability ofunderstandingthe essense of the problem and makingqualitative estimations (simple numerically but working pretty well) is thecharacteristic feature of Landau school. ... Read more

47. Quantum Field Theory: A Modern Introduction
by Michio Kaku
Hardcover: 785 Pages (1993-03-11)
list price: US$112.00 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195076524
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The rise of quantum electrodynamics (QED) made possible a number of excellent textbooks on quantum field theory in the 1960s. However, the rise of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and the Standard Model has made it urgent to have a fully modern textbook for the 1990s and beyond. Building on the foundation of QED, Quantum Field Theory: A Modern Introduction presents a clear and comprehensive discussion of the gauge revolution and the theoretical and experimental evidence which makes the Standard Model the leading theory of subatomic phenomena. The book is divided into three parts: Part I, Fields and Renormalization, lays a solid foundation by presenting canonical quantization, Feynman rules and scattering matrices, and renormalization theory. Part II, Gauge Theory and the Standard Model, focuses on the Standard Model and discusses path integrals, gauge theory, spontaneous symmetry breaking, the renormalization group, and BPHZ quantization. Part III, Non-perturbative Methods and Unification, discusses more advanced methods which now form an essential part of field theory, such as critical phenomena, lattice gauge theory, instantons, supersymmetry, quantum gravity, supergravity, and superstrings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an Introduction - Not an In-Depth Study...DUH
Some of these reviewers need to review the title of the book. This is a "modern introduction to quantum field theory", not some in-depth study with hearty breadth. Duh. For physicist's you people don't have much common sense to speak of.

2-0 out of 5 stars mediocre exposition
This is all around a pretty mediocre, uninspired exposition of quantum field theory.More recent works by Weinberg and Peskin & Schroder, for example, are far more coherent and elegant.

4-0 out of 5 stars extensive problem sets are useful
Several of the other reviewers may be correct, about the quality of the text, and the developments of some of its arguments. It does however go beyond such earlier standard texts, like Sakurai's "Advanced Quantum Mechanics", which was just an introductory treatment of relativistic quantum mechanics. Kaku takes you well into the depths of QCD and the [current] Standard Model.

If you are a grad student wanting expertise in this field, an attraction of the book is its extensive problem sets for each chapter. Perhaps more so than the textual exposition! Another reviewer bemoaned the lack of worked out problems or answers. Well, that lack is the norm for many advanced texts. You just have to get used to it. But a more positive way to look at this is to recognise that sometimes knowing that an answer to a problem exists can be valuable in itself.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too superficial, but ok reference
In my opinion this book is just ok. The breadth of material it covers is good. You can find topics such as critical phenomena and lattice gauge theory among its twenty plus chapters. However, I don't think there is generally much depth. To me the book reads like a catalog of results, I don't see it providing students with any real mathematical or physical insights. The main use I see for it is as a reference.

Page counting isn't a perfect means to determine completeness, but hopefully it does give an impression of the style. A couple of brief examples would be BRST quantization being covered in two pages (almost all equations) and SU(5) in one page. These are just a couple of places where I thought the treatment was so superficial I wondered why it was included at all.

A more detailed example would be the treatment of quantum gravity. It goes from the equivalence principle to Christoffel symbols in five pages, the Robertson-Walker solution is covered in barely more than a page and inflation in two pages. Maybe it's me, but I just don't see people that don't already know this stuff learning it here. Another comment on this chapter concerns the approach to developing classical general relativity. It is based on the properties of covariant vectors and contravariant vectors under coordinate transformation, this is definitely not a modern approach.

The topics it covers are quite interesting, a student with an excellent instructor may find it a useful book. However, I find it hard to imagine many people learning quantum field theory by reading this book. Just off the top of my head I can think of four books that I think most people would find much more helpful in learning quantum field theory: Peskin and Schroeder, Ryder, Weinberg and Zee ("quantum field theory in a nutshell" this isn't so much a traditional text book, but it is very insightful).

1-0 out of 5 stars Expectations unrewarded
My background is a Ph.D. (1963) in physics.My dissertation was based on the Mössbauer Effect, and my brief career in research was in areas of electron transport physics. I never had a strong background in high energy physics, and my quantum field theory exposure was mainly QED.

Now that I am retired, I read some physics and looked to Prof. Kaku's book for a survey of current QFT and an introduction to string theory.I have just finished reading Chapter 2, which the Preface states may be skipped by the student who "already understands the basics of group theory . . . or who does not want to delve that deeply into the intricacies of quantum field theory."I certainly did not place myself in that class of student and decided to delve.

The presentation of Chapter 2 leads to the "essential point" (p58) that the Lorentz and Poincaré groups are at the heart of quantum field theory, and "the results of this chapter will be used throughout the book".For that reason, the results should have been developed with great clarity, and I cannot say I found that true.

For example, equations 2.104 which state the Poincaré algebra, as described as showing that translations transform as a vector under the Lorentz group.But the transformation of a vector is defined by eq. 2.91.No connection is anywhere demonsrated between eq. 2.91 and 2.104; nor elsewhere between commutation relations and the transformation of vector fields.

In the discussion of the Casimir operator, the Pauli-Lubanski tensor (p.55), the evaluation in the rest-frame of the space part of the vector (tensor) based on eq. 2.106 leads to "the rotation matrix in three dimensions."But eq. 2.106 is an operator equation, whereas the result (eq. 2.108) is a matrix equation.What is the connection?

I shall plow on with the text in the hope that it will become clearer as I proceed.My feeling at this point is frustration, because I cannot tell for whom this book was written. ... Read more

48. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library)
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 192 Pages (2006-04-04)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691125759
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Celebrated for his brilliantly quirky insights into the physical world, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the general public. Here Feynman provides a classic and definitive introduction to QED (namely quantum electrodynamics), that part of quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles. Using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman clearly and humorously communicates both the substance and spirit of QED to the layperson. A. Zee's new introduction places both Feynman's book and his seminal contribution to QED in historical context and further highlights Feynman's uniquely appealing and illuminating style.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars adding arrows
I highly recommend this book to anyone without a formal background in quantum physics or higher math who is interested in learning about the modern explanation for how the world works at the atomic level. Richard Feynman is one of the originators of this worldview, and in this book manages to present an explanation which is at once true to the actual math while avoiding actually delving too deeply into the math. It's all about the math because as someone once said, "mathematics is the language of physics". That Feynman was able to carry off this seemingly impossible feat is evidence of his exceptional teaching ability. As he once said, if you can't explain something to a freshman, you don't really understand it.

In a nutshell, he explains that everything that happens in the world of atoms and light particles is governed by probability and chance. Every event has a certain numerical factor associated with it called an "amplitude", and the probability of the event occuring is the square of the amplitude. He doesn't get into the very complicated math of actually calculating the amplitude, but he explains two fundamental rules about amplitudes: first, if a single event can happen in more than one way, such as a light particle going from point A to point B by more than one path, then you add the amplitudes for each way the event can happen and then square the sum to determine the probability of the event happening. On the other hand, if there is a sequence of events, first event 1 then event 2, for example first a light particle goes from point A to point B, then from point B to point C,you multiply the amplitude for event 1 times the amplitude for event 2 and then square the product to get the amplitude for the sequence of events to occur.

Then he explains that an amplitude can be thought of as an arrow, with both a length and a direction, and that to add amplitudes you line up all the individual arrows tip to tail, draw one big arrow from the first tail to the last tip, and that arrow is the amplitude which is the sum of the individual amplitudes. (I forget how you multiply the arrows.)

Then he gives an example using partial reflection of light from glass, a mystery known since Newton's time which was not solved until the advent of quantum theory. Here light particles are emitted from a source, travel to a glass surface, and a certain percentage bounce off the front side of the glass and go back to a detector, the percentage varying from 0 to 4% based on the thickness of the glass. The mystery has been how the light bouncing off the front surface knows how thick the glass is. He shows that in order to solve the mystery, you have to include an amplitude for every path that a light particle can take from the light source to both the front surface and back surface of the glass and back to the detector, including loop-de-loops that go around Jupiter 15 times, and paths that go to the far end of the universe and back. Since these are all different ways the same event can occur, the rule for amplitudes says you have to add all these amplitudes to get the final amplitude. I.e., you have to add up all the amplitudes for every possible path the particle can take to either surface, no matter how crazy. And then if you do, you find that you end up with an amplitude which is basically the same as if you had the light particle going in the shortest possible path (i.e., a straight line) directly from the source to the front surface of the glass and then back again back by the shortest possible path (i.e., a straight line) to the detector, just like we "know" light does, and varying with the thickness of the glass just as observed. But if you don't include all possible paths in your summing up of the amplitudes, you won't get the right answer for partial reflection!

This is all so cool and fascinating. You end up actually seeing how the mathematical apparatus of quantum electrodynamics explains this phenomenon,without having to know that the arrows are actually complex numbers, and that adding, multiplying, and squaring arrows is just the arithmetic of complex numbers.

As the Guinness man says, "brilliant"!

For those who enjoyed the book, or want to learn more, or are confused, or learn better by listening and watching than by reading, I highly recommend watching a series of four lectures Feynman gave at the University of New Zealand in Auckland in the sixties, which goes over the same material. You get the inimitable Feynman persona, with interesting asides on the Mayans, and astronomy, and all sorts of other tangentially related topics, delivered in a quintessential New York accent, accompanied by diagrams in multi-colored chalk on the blackboard. It's available on the world's most well known Internet video site, which I'm not sure I can mention by name in this review, so I won't. Each lecture is an hour and a half, but in my opinion worth every minute.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awed by the actual complexity of nature (unlearned years of oversimplification that was inaccurate)
This is one of my favorite books of all time.This book changed the way I view the world and was inspiring.

Throughout high school and college, we are taught statements that light moves in a straight line as facts.The reality is that this is not a fact but rather a simplification.The real mechanisms which this book explains are not that much harder to understand but a lot more beautiful, interesting and amazing.

I unlearned years of Physics I was taught and am now even more interested in learning more.Feynman not only makes reading this book rewarding but also very easy.

One of the things I greatly appreciate is that Feynman does not simplify without letting you know what he is doing and why.I wish that someone when I was in high school had told me that light appearing to move in a straight line is a simplification of a complex process of interactions of photons with each other.At that age I may not have bother to learn the reality but at least would have kept my mind open.

I recommend this book to everyone curious and interested in how nature works.I am reading my copy for the third time now and it still continues to awe me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feynman is a genius (and good fun to boot)
More technical then most books I've read by or about Feynman, but less than others.His intelligence AND personality comes through in spades.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
Feynman is so masterful that he makes everything perspicuous.The book tells you what complex numbers (those things that you learned in high school) are for (amongst other things of course).It also tempts you to interpret the quantum nature of light - but you have also been warned by Feynman not to (page 9).You will have the chance of having Feynman himself explaining Feynman diagrams.You will learn that things can travel backwards in time (page 97) - or do they? You will also comprehend how all the three forces (electromagnetic, weak and strong) are inter-related (pages 136-142).And towards the end, Feynman will try to marvel you with the elegance of nature and its imbued mystery.Truly a masterpiece!

4-0 out of 5 stars It's Feynman's World
Feynman's QED is a introduction to the theory of quantum electrodynamics, one of the most successful scientific theories of our time. QED is theory in which Feynman himself had a hand in developing and he won the 1956 Nobel Prize for his accomplishments.

Feynman's descriptions and explanations throughout the book are first rate. He includes many diagrams and descriptions to better help the reader understand the concepts and situations that he addresses in the book. Feynman also employs humor effectively throughout which helps get through some of the more involved and detailed areas of the book.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Everything is explained in rigor and Feynman uses simple examples that are easy to understand. However, my one objection is the fact that Feynman uses no equations which could have been useful in some instances (as when he mentions De Brogile's wavelength) a few simple explanations and explanations of terms would have been invaluable. Still anyone interested in a introductory quantum mechanics book that is easy and quick to read will thoroughly enjoy this book. ... Read more

49. Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems
by Alexander L. Fetter, John Dirk Walecka
Paperback: 617 Pages (2003-06-20)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$19.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486428273
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Singlemindedly devoted to its job of educating potential many-particle theorists ... deserves to become the standard text in the field."--Physics Today. "The most comprehensive textbook yet published in its field and every postgraduate student or teacher in this field should own or have access to a copy."--Endeavor. A self-contained treatment of nonrelativistic many-particle systems, this text discusses both formalism and applications. Chapters on second quantization and statistical mechanics introduce ground-state (zero-temperature) formalism, which is explored by way of Green's functions and field theory (fermions), Fermi systems, linear response and collective modes, and Bose systems. Finite-temperature formalism is examined through field theory at finite temperature, physical systems at finite temperature, and real-time Green's functions and linear response. Additional topics cover canonical transformations and applications to physical systems in terms of nuclear matter, phonons and electrons, superconductivity, and superfluid helium as well as applications to finite systems. 1971 ed. 149 figures. 8 tables.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ab initio learning Quantum Many Body Systems
This book is definitely a good start to study quantum field theory.To read this book, the reader must be already acquainted with single body quantum theory, perturbation theory and the symmetrization principles.The text is formal and somewhat old-fashioned, but very complete : every step of every calculation is justified.Although the style might not be the most pedagogical you can find, everything the reader needs to know is included in the book, which makes it easy to progress.Relevant and realistic examples of many-body systems are presented throughout the book to illustrate the theoretical concepts.If you plan to do a lot of work on quantum many-body systems, you should have this book : it is a very good reference and it is not expensive.This should not prevent the reader, however, from looking at more modern references.

This is a graduate level textbook, but some chapters may be relevant to an undergraduate student doing an internship in the field, or that is simply curious!

Benjamin D'Anjou
Physics Major
Université de Sherbrooke

5-0 out of 5 stars Good introductory read on MBQM
The Fetter and Walecka is an excellent introductory read on many-body quantum mechanics. It slowly introduces new concepts, beginning from the basics of second quantization, and proceeds through the entire theory using Wick's theorem and second-quantized methods. The section on examples gives the book a nice general appeal. As a condensed matter physicist, I can focus on getting the basic examples given in my section down, while still getting a good sampling of other branches of physics in a well-written way.

Although it should not be the end of one's study of many-body quantum mechanics, it should certainly be the beginning. The Abrikosov, although very thorough and covering a wide range of topics, is written more as a list of results than as a text to learn from. Furthermore, one would probably want to hunt down a text like the Schulman "Methods and Applications of Path Integration" or the Negele "Quantum Many-Particle Systems" to see the imaginary time and path integral formulations of these topics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Green's functions vs. Many-body physics
It is the best text on Green's functions, especially if you are a kind of person who really reads through books trying to figure the things out. Probably the only book which succeeds in promoting analytic continuation for newcomers (although I also recomment appendix in the book by Kadanoff&Baym): it seems like many people get impression of this being a topic of secondary importance, whereas it is the conerstone of the imaginary time techniques.
I also recommend Abrikosov et al. as a classic and a good sample of how the things are done in majority of the papers (and the Dover edition is really cheap).
Sorry for Mahan, as it makes a good reference book, but not a book you can learn from.
I found that more practical people give preference to the book by Jauho and Haug- it is not a bad one, has Keldysh technique, and containes useful references to important review papers.
Finally, I recommend the book by Negele and Orland as a more modern look at "many-body physics" as it is versus "Green's functions books".

5-0 out of 5 stars solid text
I find F&W's writing lucid and their math clear. it's more fleshed out than a text like mahan. the only drawback is that it's old fashioned. hbar isnt 1like many authors.

so I would get this over abrikosov et al, and you'd need another text if you wanted to learn about path integral techniques, but pound for pound (and considering that dover reprints are cheap) it holds its own.

it's good for bosons (BEC stuff these days), and superconductors, weak on interacting fermions bc it focused on the nuclear problem instead of metals.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still a Standard Text
Very well written and with a comprehensive explanation of the basics of advanced quantum theory. This is the place for understanding about computing propagators and Feynman diagrams to arbitrary order.

Plus, the Dyson equation! At last, you can find out what made Freeman Dyson famous amongst physicists. You can decide whether this ranks in importance to Feynman's and Schwinger's discoveries.

The problem sets are nontrivial. Which will be appreciated by you, AFTER you have attempted them. (Whilst you are in an allnighter, trying to finish a problem set, your opinion may differ!)

The book does not cover superstrings, because those came after its publication. ... Read more

50. Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime and Black Hole Thermodynamics (Chicago Lectures in Physics)
by Robert M. Wald
Paperback: 220 Pages (1994-11-15)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226870278
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this book, Robert Wald provides a coherent, pedagogical introduction to the formulation of quantum field theory in curved spacetime. He begins with a treatment of the ordinary one-dimensional quantum harmonic oscillator, progresses through the construction of quantum field theory in flat spacetime to possible constructions of quantum field theory in curved spacetime, and, ultimately, to an algebraic formulation of the theory. In his presentation, Wald disentangles essential features of the theory from inessential ones (such as a particle interpretation) and clarifies relationships between various approaches to the formulation of the theory. He also provides a comprehensive, up-to-date account of the Unruh effect, the Hawking effect, and some of its ramifications. In particular, the subject of black hole thermodynamics, which remains an active area of research, is treated in depth.

This book will be accessible to students and researchers who have had introductory courses in general relativity and quantum field theory, and will be of interest to scientists in general relativity and related fields.
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Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Sketchy
I had hoped this would be an affordable substitute for Birrell and Davies.Unfortunately, it is no substitute.The presentation is very sketchy and abstract.If you are into algebraic QFT and that sort of stuff then maybe you will like this book more than I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime and Black Hole Thermodynamics (Chicago Lectures in Physics)
I ordered this physics book for my brother. He informed me that he received it and was apparently very happy with it. This is all I can say relative to this purchase. ... Read more

51. Quantum Theory of Solids
by Charles Kittel
Paperback: 528 Pages (1987-04-02)
-- used & new: US$98.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471624128
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A modern presentation of theoretical solid state physics that builds directly upon Kittel's Introduction to Solid State Physics. Treats phonon, electron, and magnon fields, culminating in the BCS theory of superconductivity. Considers Fermi surfaces and electron wave functions and develops the group theoretical description of Brillouin zones. Applies correlation functions to time-dependent effects in solids, with an introduction to Green's functions. With 110 problems, the text is well-suited for the classroom or for self-instruction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dense reference for the advanced student
The book mostly consists of theorems formalizing the mathematical foundations for study in solid-state physics. It best serves as a reference together with another book that is more pedagogical, for example Ashcroft & Mermin or the introductory book on solid state physics by the same author (Charles Kittel).

That said, this is a great, concise reference for anyone creating models and simulations because it bridges instructive texts and books on pure mathematical methods.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still a good book
It is too bad this book is out of print, for it gives a good introduction to the quantum theory as applied to condensed matter, despite the many advances that have taken place since the date of publication, such as high-temperature superconductivity, the fractional quantum Hall effect, and nanoscale physics. Therefore, if a copy can be found, it is still worth perusing and having on one's shelf. I only read the first 8 chapters of the book, so my review will be confined to them.

After a brief introduction to the mathematics needed in the book, the author begins in chapter 2 with a treatment of acoustic phonons, which arise from the canonical quantization of the transverse motion of a continuous elastic line under tension. This object is handled using the Lagrangian formalism, and after finding the Hamiltonian density, employing a canonical transformation, the (bosonic) creation and annihilation operators are found: phonon excitations. Both longitudinal and transverse modes are shown to exist in general. Bogoliubov transformations are then used to show how phonons may arise in a system of weakly interacting particles. The author then derives the expression for the velocity of "second sound" in a phonon gas. Experimental evidence for second sound in liquid helium was known at the time of publication, but since then evidence has accumulated in Bose gases and in certain types of crystals, such as KTaO and SrTiO. The phenomenon of second sound has also been of considerable interest in the study of nonlinear optical phenomena in smectic liquid crystals. The author also discusses the occurence of van Hove singularities in the phonon frequency distribution function, and points to their connection with Morse theory.

In chapter 3 the author concentrates his attention on plasmons, which arises from longitudinal excitations in an electron gas, and optical phonons in ionic crystals. He then extends the latter analysis to include the interaction of optical phonons with photons, which he also treats using quantum field theory, giving what he calls a quantum theory of a classical dielectric.

The theory of spin waves, or "magnons" is discussed in chapter 4, wherein the author first treats ferromagnetic magnons via the consideration of the Hamiltonian consisting of nearest-neighbor exchange and Zeeman contributions. The dispersion relation for both optical and acoustical magnons in a spin system forming a Bravais lattice is derived and compared with experiment for magnetite. The author then treats antiferromagnetic magnons and discusses the zero-point sublattice magnetization and the heat capacity of antiferromagnets. He then returns to ferromagnetic magnons but from a more macroscopic point of view, treating the magnetization as a macroscopic field, rather than dealing with individual spins. Lastly, he considers the excitation of ferromagnetic magnons by parallel pumping and the temperature dependence of effective exchange.

After a short review of the Hartree-Fock approximation in chapter 5, the author considers the all-important electron gas in chapter 6. The electron gas, particularly in two dimensions, has been the subject of great interest since this book was first published, not only because of its technological importance, but also its role in the quantum Hall effect and the fractional quantum Hall effect. Although density functional and renormalization group methods are the current favored ones for studying the electron gas, readers can still gain much from the reading of the chapter. The author concentrates his attention on the approximate calculation of the correlation energy of the degenerate electron gas, particularly at high density. To do this he uses the self-consistent field approach and he exploits the frequency and wavevector dielectric constant as a tool for studying many-body interactions. Several bread-and-butter topics in quantum many-body theory appear in this chapter, such as the linked cluster expansion, which appear in other more complicated (relativistic) contexts, such as high energy physics.

The author introduces polarons in chapter 7 as a consequence of any deformation of the ideal periodic lattice of positive ion cores on the motion of conduction electrons, and notes that even the zero-point motion of phonons effects this motion. The interaction of an electron with the lattice results in a "lattice polarization field" around the electron, and the resulting composite particle is the polaron, which, as expected, has a larger effective mass then the electron in an unperturbed lattice. The electron-phonon interaction results in resistivity, results in attenuation of ultrasonic waves in metals, and results in some cases to an attractive interaction between electrons, this being one of the precursors of superconductivity. The problem of electron-phonon interaction in metals has been the subject of much study in attempts to give quantum field theory a rigorous mathematical foundation, particularly via the study of the "jellium model".

Chapter 8 is very important, and its content reveals again the age of the book. The phenomenon of superconductivity, and its description by the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory, is known as one of the triumphs of the quantum theory of solids. Of course, when this book was published, superconducting materials at high temperature, were not known. The author though gives a detailed overview of the BCS theory, starting with the Hamiltonian for the electrons, phonons, and their first-order interactions (the strength measured by a certain real constant D). Using a canonical transformation, the author reduces the Hamiltonian to one with no off-diagonal terms of order D. This results in an expression for an electron-electron interaction which can be attractive for excitation energies in a certain range (involving the Debye energy). Keeping only this interaction in the Hamiltonian, for wave vectors that satisfy this range constraint, the author studies the properties of bound electron pairs, and shows how they bring about superconductivity. He also outlines an alternative solution to the BCS equation, using what he calls the equation-of-motion method. More modern treatments of superconductivity employ the use of Higgs fields and the renormalization group, these approaches shedding light on whether one can indeed view superconductivity as a "macroscopic manifestation of quantum physics".

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Overall Review of Advanced Solid State Theory
A good book in addition to another introductory text.I covers the subject manner in an orderly fashion and reviews the theory in an intricate fashion.However, the mathematical notation is not what one would expectfrom other Solid State texts however the same conventions are used from hisintroductory book on Solid State Physics.An excellent investment forthose interested.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
This book contains all the necessary formalism to become aquainted with many-body theory and Green's functions. The writing is clear and to the point. ... Read more

52. Scattering Theory: The Quantum Theory of Non-Relativistic Collisions
by John R. Taylor
 Hardcover: 477 Pages (1972-06)
list price: US$46.50
Isbn: 0898746078
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53. Measurement and Time Reversal in Objective Quantum Theory (Monographs in Natural Philosophy)
by Frederik J. Belinfante
 Hardcover: 148 Pages (1975-09)

Isbn: 008018152X
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54. Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime: Quantized Fields and Gravity (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics)
by Leonard Parker, David Toms
Hardcover: 472 Pages (2009-09-21)
list price: US$80.00 -- used & new: US$62.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521877873
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book develops quantum field theory in curved spacetime in a pedagogical style, suitable for graduate students. The authors present detailed, physically motivated, derivations of cosmological and black hole processes in which curved spacetime plays a key role. They explain how such processes in the rapidly expanding early universe leave observable consequences today, and how in the context of evaporating black holes, these processes uncover deep connections between gravitation and elementary particles. The authors also lucidly describe many other aspects of free and interacting quantized fields in curved spacetime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Graduate level, mathematically rigorous
Leonard Parker is a Distinguished Professor of physics and director of the Center for Gravitation and Cosmology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is basically the founder of the study of quantum field theory in curved space-time. His has work formed the basis of research by hundreds of physicists worldwide including being cited by Stephen Hawking in his discover the creation of particles by black holes.

David Toms (Ph.D. University of Toronto) is a member of the faculty in Mathematical Physics at the University of Newcastle. He has published numerous papers in Quantum field theory, General relativity, Quantum gravity, Bose-Einstein condensation, and Statistical mechanics.

This book, positioned at the graduate level requires considerable background in classical general relativity, basic quantum field theory, and the associated mathematics. It is mathematically rigorous and could be used for a one or two semester course or by the individual researcher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive & comprehensible
Having tried to work through Birrell & Davies a few years ago,
I remember that the text was well written and insightful, but
just seemed too dense on certain subjects, such as the Dirac
equation in curved space.

Knowing that Parker is one of the pioneers in the field, I was
excited when the book was announced. Once I got it in my hands,
I jumped right ahead to the spinor/Dirac equation chapter and
happily found a thorough account of it, with no details omitted.

The text does of course require a background in QFT in flat space and
of classical general relativity, although a brief account of the former
is given in Chapter 1. To me, it's main advantage is the thorough
and detailed presentation of calculations.

If I had to point out a flaw - and this may sound strange -
I would say that the main advantage is also its disadvantage:
you may be lost in all the details and miss the big picture, i.e.
the calculations are clear but sometimes their motivation is not as clear.
However, this does not prevent me from appreciating the
detailed calculations, which is what a beginner needs.

In conclusion, if you need a good pedagogical introduction
to QFT in curved space, the book by Mukhanov is an excellent starter.
If you want a good overall picture of the subject, then the
monograph by Birrel & Davies is a very good resource.
If you want a text that is thorough, pedagogical and detailed,
then I think Parker & Toms will become a new standard reference.
... Read more

55. Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations
by C. J. Isham
Paperback: 232 Pages (1995-12)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1860940013
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book is based on material taught to final-year physicsundergraduates as part of the theoretical physics option at ImperialCollege. After a self-contained introduction to the essential ideas ofvector spaces and linear operators, a bridge is built between theconcepts and mathematics of classical physics, and the newmathematical framework employed in quantum mechanics. The axioms ofnonrelativistic quantum theory are introduced, and shown to lead to avariety of new conceptual problems. Subjects discussed includestate-vector reduction, the problem of measurement, quantumentanglement, the Kochen-Specker theorem, and the Bellinequalities. The book includes twenty-five problems with workedsolutions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice introductory lectures on quantum foundations suitable for self-study
Very fine lectures on the foundations of quantum mechanics but definitely not for beginners. Prof. Isham states: "These lectures was part of a third year theoretical physics option (preface, p. v)", so be prepared. Before tackling this book on your own, I think you should understand something about vector spaces, basic linear functional analysis and Hilbert spaces and also feel comfortable with a fairly high degree of mathematical and logical abstraction.

Prof. Isham's exposition is admirablyclear and he provides a great deal of very helpful discussionof a number of difficult / subtle foundational issues, concepts and theorems central to quantum mechanics.The topics go well beyond what's in introductory or even more advanced textbooks, e.g. in chapter 4, he discusses the classical physics notion of property, which is compared to the quantum mechanical situation; in chapter 5 (General Formalism of Quantum Theory), he states informally and elucidates four rules providing the basic conceptual underpinnings of QM.Rule 3 deals with the central notion of expected result of measuring an operator on a quantum state and then later in section 5.3, hediscusses in detail an alternative form of rule 3 and its implications, all of which I found quite interesting.Chapter 6 discusses a number of key technical topics including density matrices, a subject typically missing from introductory accounts. Chapter 7 includes a nice discussion of uncertainty relations.Chapter 8 (Conceptual Issues in Quantum Theory) and Chapter 9 (Properties in Quantum Physics) is where he really gets into various controversial topics: the meaning of probability, reduction of state vectors, quantum entanglement, the measurement problem, all in ch. 8; followed by the Kochen-Specker theorem, quantum logic and non-locality and Bell's inequalities, all in ch. 9.It is really wonderful to be able to learn how a world-class theoretical physicist like Prof. Isham, who takes conceptual issues seriously unlike many practicing quantum physicists, thinks about these arguably arcane issues.These discussions are introductory and somewhat superficial but nevertheless insightful and well worth one's time.

In summary, if you're interested in the deep and perplexing conceptual issues of quantum mechanicsthen these lectures will provide you with a pedagogically sound, totally reliable introduction by a world-class physicist who is also a gifted writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
This book is for all those who want to understand more about quantum mechanics. It explains in a very intelligent way the essential differences between a classical theory and a quantum mechanical one. Highly recommended. You will not learn from this book on how to solve e.g. scattering problems, this book focuses on understanding the theory rather than applying it. I enjoyed it very much.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not that easy, but ...
I appreciate the author's approach as much as the other, "five star" reviews.Isham has tackled some very difficult material and consistently gone to the heart of the problems involved with the meaning of quantum theory.He has treated the many different approaches - from pure pragmatism to hidden variables and many worlds - with fairness and due respect for each.My only disagreement with the other reviewers is their assessment of the book's accessibility.The mathematics is heavy on abstractions.As a former graduate student in physics (admittedly long ago), I found it rougher going than I expected and spaced out several of the final subjects such as quantum logic.Nevertheless I came away with a better understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics, and I have no regrets over buying the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Illuminating
In this book Prof. Isham exposes the minimum algebra required for quantum physics, from vector spaces to eigenvalues, Hilbert spaces, density matrices, and equations specific to quantum theory (e. g. entanglement, EPR, Bell, etc.) He does not give unnecessary details but many insights that make the concepts used in algebra more tangible, more understandable, explaining the idea being the various mathematical theories he deals with. of . I read this book for the quantum aspect, but it may have profited me more for the math, for the deeper understanding it gave me of those mathematical concepts. In addition, Isham offers many sound philosophical (yet short, clear and to the point) discussions on the concepts involved, on probabilities, truth, measurement problem, many worlds, non-locality, etc. The book is a masterful treatment combining algebra, physics and philosophy. Add to this some exercises with answers, and here is a book that you don't want to miss, if you already have some basic knowledge of mathematics and quantum physics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep and balanced
If you are an undergraduate physicist or have an equivalent mathematical background this is the best book to understand themathematical structure and the conceprual basis of quantum theory. The presentation is at a level accessible to undergraduates, however there are many side remarks and commentsthat slowly introduce you to understandingdifferent foundational issues (that often cannot be accessed without a larger mathematical background).It is the deepest modern introductory textbook in quantum mechanics that I have read. ... Read more

56. A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (Oxford Master Series in Statistical, Computational, and Theoretical Physics)
by Michele Maggiore
Paperback: 308 Pages (2005-02-10)
list price: US$70.00 -- used & new: US$35.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0198520743
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The importance and the beauty of modern quantum field theory resides in the power and variety of its methods and ideas, which find application in domains as different as particle physics, cosmology, condensed matter, statistical mechanics and critical phenomena.This book introduces the reader to the modern developments in a manner which assumes no previous knowledge of quantum field theory.Along with standard topics like Feynman diagrams, the book discusses effective lagrangians, renormalization group equations, the path integral formulation, spontaneous symmetry breaking and non-abelian gauge theories.The inclusion of more advanced topics will also make this a most useful book for graduate students and researchers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Exciting approach with dense chapters
I like the approach of this book in the sense that it first treats groups and the transformations that comprise representations of the groups. Then it moves to the construction of various spinor fields.Only once the full equipment of transformations on these fields has been explained, does the book move into Lagrangian field theory.Then, finally, it treats the quantization of the fields.For a first field theory text (which this is for me) I like this approach because it shows the more exciting and exotic material at the very beginning.

Though I like the broad arrangement of the material, individual sections can be a bit obtuse from time to time.They are very dense and frequently seek to explain things in the most general sense, even when the most general sense is not the clearest or most intuitive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clean and understandable
This book presents the basics of QFT in a form that is very understandable.The author starts by presenting Lie algebra, which is used to justify spinors.A spinor Lagrangian then creates the Dirac equation.This approach makes the Dirac equation seem as natural as the Maxwell equation.I have previously seen two other books that took the approach of taking Schrodinger's equation and relativity and mashing the two together using Pauli matrices as glue.That never sat well with me and I was glad to see some justification.The clear, consistent, modern notation was a great help - I have seen other books that mix Einstein notation with bold-face 4-vectors using dot products, etc.I also found it helpful to have a concise book to introduce the concepts without getting bogged down in examples with equations spanning the entire page (this book does however have examples at the end of the chapters).

The next chapters introduce quantization, perturbation theory, non-abelian theories, etc.I only got through half the book as it was just some summer reading for me, but paging through the latter half makes me look forward to having the time to finish it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book For Quickly Learning The Meat Of QFT
This book is short and to the point.The author has a good sense for the heart of the subject and how to present it in an efficient way.I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to either a.) learn the meat of QFT quickly or b.) wants a good reference which quickly reviews the most important parts of QFT.Since the technical details are important, I would highly recommend using this book in conjunction with a book with more technical details like the one by Peskin and Schroeder. (However, this book does have a lot of good information for its size.)Reading this book will help catalyze your understanding of the details in a more technical book. ... Read more

57. Algebraic Methods in Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory
by Dr. Gerard G. Emch
Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-05-21)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486472094
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This systematic algebraic approach covers statistical mechanics, quantum field theory, and mathematical physics. In addition to a careful formulation of the problems' physical motivations, it features self-contained descriptions of the mathematical methods for arriving at solutions. Readers thus learn the vocabulary and physical bases of the theory. 1972 edition.
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58. The Quantum Theory of Radiation: Third Edition
by W. Heitler
Paperback: 464 Pages (2010-10-18)
list price: US$15.95
Isbn: 0486645584
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The first comprehensive treatment of quantum physics to appear in any language, this classic introduction to the basic theory is still highly recommended and still in wide use today as both a text and a reference. 37 figures. 13 tables. Introduction. List of references. Bibliography.
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Learnable QED & THE bremsstrahlung treatment.
To be honest, I am trying to learn formal QED, and this text is 'feeding' well. Heitler comes up with the goods..you feel you have actually covered some topic-(rather than some 'lite' or cryptic version). Having said thatmodern criticisms would be the usage of 'old' vector operations notation(minor taste criticism-you get used to the use of '[ , ]' for vectorproducts for example); and also omission of 'Feynman diagrams'. However theadditional material (to the 1934 edition) published in this reprinted 1954edition gives reference to Feynman and Schwingers work prior to thisdate.

For THE treatment of quantum bremsstrahlung theory (firstapproximation), here is the most oft quoted reference (with maybe an optionon Kramers 1923 'Bohrian' quantum paper)and arguably the most relevant. Amust if only for this. Like most books written around this time in Doverscatalogue, it is well written, readable, and precise in the analysis-skipping math steps where truly reasonable. A gold mine for those of ustrying to get to grips with the subject of the title. ... Read more

59. Quantum Theory and Measurement (Princeton Series in Physics)
by John Archibald Wheeler, Wojciech Hubert Zurek
Paperback: 840 Pages (1984-01)
list price: US$49.50
Isbn: 0691083169
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Best Collection of Papers on the Subject
Includes the EPR paper, Schroedinger's cat paper, and many others.
My only quibble is that, because the book was written in 1983, the
Alain Aspect paper included is a very early one in the series.

The other book on this subject which I whole-heartedly recommend in
"Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics" by J. Bell.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must own collection for quantum physics
This is a must-own collection for anyone studying or working in quantum physics.These are theoriginal papers concerning the so-called problem of measurement.Minority views are included; for instance, both parts of Bohm's 1952 paper are here. Not only physicists, but also historians and philosophers of science, will want to read these papers. ... Read more

60. Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods (Fundamental Theories of Physics)
by A. Peres
Paperback: 464 Pages (1995-09)
list price: US$109.00 -- used & new: US$82.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792336321
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book will be useful to anyone who wants to understand theuse of quantum theory for the description of physical processes. It isa graduate level text, ideal for independent study, and includesnumerous figures, exercises, bibliographical references, and even somecomputer programs.
The first chapters introduce formal tools: the mathematics areprecise, but not excessively abstract. The physical interpretation toois rigorous. It makes no use of the uncertainty principle of otherill-defined notions. The central part of the book is devoted to Bell'stheorem and to the Kochen-Specker theorem. It is here thatquantum phenomena depart most radically from classical physics. Therehas recently been considerable progress on these issues, and thelatest developments have been included. The final chapters discussfurther topics of current research: spacetime symmetries, quantumthermodynamics and information theory, semiclassical methods,irreversibility, quantum chaos, and especially the measuring process.In particular, it is shown how modern techniques allow the extractionof more information from a physical system than traditionalmeasurement methods.
For physicists, mathematicians and philosophers of science with aninterest in the applications and foundations of quantum theory. Thevolume is suitable as a supplementary graduate textbook. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent exploration of the subject matter.
The author has put serious work and thought to writing this excellent book. It is a graduate level exploration of quantum theory but it is written very clearly. A background in college level physics and mathematics are necessary of course but the book is so well designed that the reader requires only common sense and persistence to complete the journey. I found some of the insights very illuminating. and most of the mathematical work was clear enough for me to comprehend the logic behind the ideas, not just through the accompanying discussion but through the maths itself.

I am not a physicist nor a mathematician, just someone who is scientifically inclined with a deep interest in quantum theory and this book is a very valuable addition to my library. I highly recommend it. the author in my opinion literally guides you through an excellent exploration of the subject matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Innovative View of Quantum Theory
The essential logic of this book is stated at 'Preface': "quantum phenomena do not occur in a Hilbert space, they occur in a laboratory".The author's view is stated on p.26: "The essence of quantum theory is to provide a mathematical representaion of states (that is, of preparationprocedures), together with rules for computing the probabilities of the various outcomes of any test."Also, on p.183: "The only meaning of "quantum state" is: a list of the statistical properties of an ensemble of ideally prepared systems."The above pragmatic view of quantum theory is truly innovative, and expected to settle the longstanding controversies over the meaning of quantum theory.The author's view seems to correspond to Einstein's instrumental interpretation of quantum theory, one of Einstein's three interpretations of qunatum theory. (see, A. Fine in "Einstein in Context" pp.257-273: http://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Context-Science-Mara-Beller/dp/0521448344/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223250841&sr=1-2 )

5-0 out of 5 stars A High class presentation of fundemental quantum theory
This book is the result of something like six years of work. The highly contemplative tone of this deep composition reflects the labor of the author. It is extremely well presented. The many problems range from quite easy (but not trivial) to time demanding mini-projects. The book is written for self-study, too. Which, to me, is something more authors need to embrace.
Final Note: This texts serves as a sophisticated introduction to the foundational aspects of quantum theory. A bit of higher math, computational skill, and a working knowledge of elementary theoretical physics will be useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
I don't have a physics background. I wanted to understand from the scratch the connections between thermodynamics, information theory and the quantum world. Also I wanted to understand the issue of quantum entanglement a little deeper. I wouldn't say that I found everything that I was looking for in this book. But it did give me a very good start and more pointers for what to look for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good
One of the rare books that give a deep and balanced account of Quantum Theory... Concepts are emphasized as much as techniques. Anyone who wants to understand (as opposed to merely use) quantum mechanics should at least have a brief look through such a book... ... Read more

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