Waves, Particles and Fields : Introducing Quantum Field Theory book cover
1st Edition

Waves, Particles and Fields
Introducing Quantum Field Theory

ISBN 9780367198763
Published July 6, 2019 by CRC Press
350 Pages 103 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Choice Recommended Title, September 2020

This book fills a gap in the middle ground between quantum mechanics of a single electron to the concept of a quantum field. In doing so, the book is divided into two parts; the first provides the necessary background to quantum theory extending from Planck’s formulation of black body radiation to Schrodinger’s equation; and the second part explores Dirac’s relativistic electron to quantum fields, finishing with an description of Feynman diagrams and their meaning.

Much more than a popular account, yet not too heavy so as to be inaccessible, this book assumes no prior knowledge of quantum physics or field theory and provides the necessary foundations for readers to then progress to more advanced texts on quantum field theory. It will be of interest to undergraduate students in physics and mathematics, in addition to an interested, general audience.


  • Provides an extensive yet accessible background to the concepts
  • Contains numerous, illustrative diagrams
  • Presents in-depth explanations of difficult subjects

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Mathematics

Chapter 2. Waves

Chapter 3. Electromagnetic Waves

Chapter 4. Kinetic Theory of Gases

Chapter 5. Quantum Theory

Chapter 6. The Bohr Atom

Chapter 7. The New Quantum Theory

Chapter 8. Relativity

Chapter 9. Advanced Mathematics

Chapter 10. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics  

Chapter 11. Probability Flow

Chapter 12. Wave Functions and Spinors

Chapter 13. Classical Field Theory

Chapter 14. Lorentz Invariance

Chapter 15. The Electromagnetic Field

Chapter 16. The Quantum Field

Chapter 17. Feynman Diagrams

Chapter 18. Conclusion

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Anthony Fischer-Cripps is an experienced lecturer in physics and a former senior scientist at CSIRO, Australian’s national scientific research institution. Dr. Cripps has published several student books over the years as well as undertaking fundamental research in applied physics in the field of nanoindentation.


"Formal initiation into 20th-century physics occurs when one begins a systematic study of relativity and quantum mechanics. There are any number of standard texts and lecture notes on these two foundations of today’s physics. Unlike the classic texts of Leonard Schiff, David Bohm, David Griffiths, and Albert Messiah, this volume offers a sturdy steppingstone to the grand edifice: it is well organized and clearly presented, with only brief introductory notes to the topics.

Fischer-Cripps (formerly, Univ. of Technology, Sydney) presents the student with all the required mathematics in a succinct way. A brief discussion of vector space would have been a worthwhile addition. Those who have not previously seen scalars, vectors, and complex numbers need to do some serious work before venturing into this text, which only reviews these concepts. Readers with some acquaintance with the basics will learn the concepts, structure, and bases of the physics that is essential for an understanding of quantum field theory, leading to Feynman diagrams. This book can serve as an excellent text not only for students who plan to specialize eventually in high-powered theoretical physics, but also for those whose goal may be to work in nuclear physics, astrophysics, solid-state physics, and the like. All college libraries should own this work.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Students enrolled in two-year technical programs."

—V. V. Raman, emeritus, Rochester Institute of Technology in CHOICE, September 2020