Gauge Theories in Particle Physics: A Practical Introduction, Volume 2: Non-Abelian Gauge Theories: QCD and The Electroweak Theory, Fourth Edition, 4th Edition (Hardback) book cover

Gauge Theories in Particle Physics: A Practical Introduction, Volume 2: Non-Abelian Gauge Theories

QCD and The Electroweak Theory, Fourth Edition, 4th Edition

By Ian J R Aitchison, Anthony J.G. Hey

CRC Press

518 pages | 5 Color Illus. | 144 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466513075
pub: 2012-12-17
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Volume 2 of this revised and updated edition provides an accessible and practical introduction to the two non-Abelian quantum gauge field theories of the Standard Model of particle physics: quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and the Glashow-Salam-Weinberg (GSW) electroweak theory.

This volume covers much of the experimental progress made in the last ten years. A new chapter on CP violation and oscillation phenomena describes CP violation in B-meson decays as well as the main experiments that have led to our current knowledge of mass-squared differences and mixing angles in neutrino physics. Exploring a new era in particle physics, this edition discusses one of the most recent and exciting breakthroughs—the discovery of a boson with properties consistent with those of the Standard Model Higgs boson. It also updates many other topics, including jet algorithms, lattice QCD, effective Lagrangians, and three-generation quark mixing and the CKM matrix.

New to the Fourth Edition

  • New chapter on CP violation and oscillations in mesonic and neutrino systems
  • New section on three-generation quark mixing and the CKM matrix
  • Improved discussion of two-jet cross section in electron-positron annihilation
  • New section on jet algorithms
  • Recent lattice QCD calculations with dynamical fermions
  • New section on effective Lagrangians for spontaneously broken chiral symmetry, including the three-flavor extension, meson mass relations, and chiral perturbation theory
  • Update of asymptotic freedom
  • Discussion of the historic discovery of a Higgs-like boson

The authors discuss the main conceptual points of the theories, detail many practical calculations of physical quantities from first principles, and compare these quantitative predictions with experimental results, helping readers improve both their calculation skills and physical insight.


"Aitchison and Hey was the ‘bible’ for me as a young post-doc in the 1980s … The book has been revised regularly as the field progressed and I am delighted to see a new edition which brings it up to date to the discovery of a Higgs-like boson at the LHC in July 2012. … Its strength has always been the combination of the theory with discussion of experimental results. The new edition continues this tradition by including … discussion of the related important observations of the last ten years—CP violation and oscillations in the B sector and the now rich phenomenology of neutrino oscillations. This will become a new classic."

—Amanda Cooper-Sarkar, Oxford University, UK

"This is an indispensable textbook for all particle physicists, experimentalists and theorists alike, providing an accessible exposé of the Standard Model, covering the mathematics used to describe it and some of the most important experimental results which vindicate it. … Volume 2 has been updated with extended discussions on quark and neutrino mixing and inclusion of results on CP violation and neutrino oscillations … these textbooks will remain on the top of a high energy physicist’s reading list for years to come."

—Matthew Wing, University College London, UK

Table of Contents


Global Non-Abelian Symmetries

Local Non-Abelian (Gauge) Symmetries


QCD I: Introduction, Tree-Graph Predictions, and Jets

QCD II: Asymptotic Freedom, the Renormalization Group, and Scaling Violations

Lattice Field Theory and the Renormalization Group Revisited


Spontaneously Broken Global Symmetry

Chiral Symmetry Breaking

Spontaneously Broken Local Symmetry


Introduction to the Phenomenology of Weak Interactions

CP Violation and Oscillation Phenomena

The Glashow-Salam-Weinberg Gauge Theory of Electroweak Interactions

APPENDIX M: Group Theory

APPENDIX N: Geometrical Aspects of Gauge Fields

APPENDIX O: Dimensional Regularization

APPENDIX P: Grassmann Variables

APPENDIX Q: Feynman Rules for Tree Graphs in QCD and the Electroweak Theory



Problems appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Authors

Ian J.R. Aitchison is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and a visiting scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He has previously held research positions at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Saclay, and the University of Cambridge. He was a visiting professor at the University of Rochester and the University of Washington, and a scientific associate at CERN. Dr. Aitchison has published over 90 scientific papers mainly on hadronic physics and quantum field theory. He is the author of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, An Informal Introduction to Gauge Field Theories, and Supersymmetry in Particle Physics and joint editor of two other books.

Anthony J.G. Hey is Vice President of Microsoft Research Connections, where he is responsible for the worldwide external research and technical computing strategy across Microsoft Corporation. A fellow of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr. Hey was previously the director of the U.K. e-Science Initiative and the head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science and dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Southampton. His research interests encompass parallel programming for parallel systems built from mainstream commodity components. With Jack Dongarra, Rolf Hempel, and David Walker, he wrote the first draft of a specification for a new message-passing standard called MPI. This initiated the process that led to the successful MPI standard of today.

Subject Categories

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