Quantum Field Theory - Material for the year 2019-2020

2019-2020
External Lecturer(s): 
Prof. John Wheater
Course Term: 
Michaelmas
Course Weight: 
1.50 unit(s)

Assessment type:

Course Overview: 

24 lectures
Areas: PT, CMT, Astro, foundational course.
Sequels: Advanced Quantum Field Theory for Particle Physics (HT), Conformal Field Theory (TT),
Quantum Field Theory in Curved Space-Time (TT).

Course Synopsis: 

Relativistic wave equations and the need for Quantum Field Theory
Canonical quantisation of scalar and fermion fields
Path integral quantisation of scalar and fermion fields
Symmetries and Noether’s theorem
Feynman diagrams
S-matrix elements and cross-sections for scalar fields
1-loop renormalization of scalar field theory
Field theory at finite temperature (time permitting)

Reading List: 

The classic texts on the subject are by Bjorken and Drell, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Relativistic Quantum Fields.
Everything in the first is worth knowing; the second is somewhat outdated but still worth a look.

The standard text, and closest to most of this course, is Peskin and Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.

There are several books that people often find useful, here are three: Quantum Field Theory by Mandl and Shaw is very clear
on the fundamentals and is a good place to go if you are daunted by the size of some of the other books;
Quantum Field Theory by Srednicki focusses on the standard particle physics approach; and Statistical Physics of Fields by Kardar
approaches the topic from the statistical mechanical point of view.