A Course in Field Theory: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Course in Field Theory

1st Edition

By Pierre van Baal

CRC Press

224 pages | 28 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466594593
pub: 2013-08-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429073601
pub: 2016-04-19
from $42.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Extensively classroom-tested, A Course in Field Theory provides material for an introductory course for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in physics. Based on the author’s course that he has been teaching for more than 20 years, the text presents complete and detailed coverage of the core ideas and theories in quantum field theory. It is ideal for particle physics courses as well as a supplementary text for courses on the Standard Model and applied quantum physics.

The text gives students working knowledge and an understanding of the theory of particles and fields, with a description of the Standard Model toward the end. It explains how Feynman rules are derived from first principles, an essential ingredient of any field theory course. With the path integral approach, this is feasible. Nevertheless, it is equally essential that students learn how to use these rules. This is why the problems form an integral part of this book, providing students with the hands-on experience they need to become proficient.

Taking a concise, practical approach, the book covers core topics in an accessible manner. The author focuses on the basics, offering a balanced mix of topics and rigor for intermediate physics students.


"… a pleasant novelty that manages the impossible: a full course in field theory from a derivation of the Dirac equation to the standard electroweak theory in less than 200 pages. Moreover, the final chapter consists of a careful selection of assorted problems, which are original and either anticipate or detail some of the topics discussed in the bulk of the chapters. Instead of building a treatise out of a collection of lecture notes, the author took the complementary approach and constructed a course out of a number of well-known and classic treatises. The result is fresh and useful. … the mathematical approach is rigorous, and readers are never spoon-fed but encouraged to focus on the few essential themes of each lecture. … This book will be useful not only for masters-level students but will, I hope, be well received by teachers and practitioners in the field."

CERN Courier, May 2014

Table of Contents


Quantisation of Fields

Euler–Lagrange Equations

Tree-Level Diagrams

Hamiltonian Perturbation Theory

Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics

Path Integrals in Field Theory

Perturbative Expansion in Field Theory

The Scattering Matrix

Cross Sections

Decay Rates

The Dirac Equation

Plane Wave Solutions of the Dirac Equation

The Dirac Hamiltonian

Path Integrals for Fermions

Feynman Rules for Vector Fields

Quantum Electrodynamics—QED

Non-Abelian Gauge Theories

The Higgs Mechanism

Gauge Fixing and Ghosts

The Standard Model

Loop Corrections and Renormalisation


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Nuclear Physics
SCIENCE / Physics
SCIENCE / Quantum Theory