Physics 500 012
Physics 500 012 Spring 2023
Quantum Field Theory Without Tears
Welcome to Physics 500 012 for 2023.
Professor: Kevin Cahill
Phone: 505 205 5448, after 1 pm.
Time: Thursdays at 3 pm.
Meeting ID: 911 979 0161
In this course, you will explore the two approaches to quantum field theory: quantization via annihilation and creation operators and quantization via path integrals. You will learn how scalar, vector, spinor, and tensor fields transform under Lorentz and general coordinate transformations. We will discuss abelian and nonabelian gauge theory and the standard model. Perturbation theory will be used to compute some physical rates and quantities.
There are no explicit prerequisites for this course, but students should have some knowledge of quantum mechanics.
There is no required textbook. I will supply notes. Three excellent textbooks are The Theory of Quantum Fields I by Steven Weinberg, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell by Anthony Zee and Quantum Field Theory Lectures of Sidney Coleman edited by Bryan Gin-ge Chen, David Derbes, David Griffiths, Brian Hill, Richard Sohn and Yuan-Sen Ting.
Notes on quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.
Notes on the renormalization group.
Notes on the principle of least action in mechanics.
Notes on the principle of least action in field theory.
Notes on complex-variable theory.
Notes on group theory.
Notes on general relativity.
Notes on functional derivatives.
Notes on path integrals.
Solutions to path-integral exercises.
Notes on natural units.
Chapter 4 (on the cluster
decomposition principle) of Weinberg's The Quantum Theory of Fields I.
Weinberg's The Quantum Theory of Fields I.
My iPad scribbles. Please ignore first blank page.
New iPad scribbles, mainly about path integrals.
Videos visible only with their links:
Class of 19 Jan.
Class of 26 Jan.
Last few minutes of class of 2 Feb.
Class of 9 Feb.
Class of 16 Feb.
Class of 23 Feb.
Class of 2 Mar.
Class of 9 Mar.
Class of 23 Mar.
Class of 30 Mar.
Class of 6 Apr.
Class of 13 Apr.
Class of 20 Apr.
Class of 27 Apr.
Class of 4 May
A history of quantum field theory as a pptx file that is downloaded to your computer.
A Particle That May Fill 'Empty' Space by Frank Wilczek.
A Particle That May Fill 'Empty' Space by Frank Wilczek -- audio that requires a W$J subsciption.
Accounting for a Wrinkle in Time by Frank Wilczek.
Accounting for a Wrinkle in Time by Frank Wilczek -- audio that requires a W$J subsciption.
Before they graduate, all students of physics
should read at least the first section of the essay
The Trouble with Quantum
Mechanics by Steven Weinberg.