Friday, 27 January 2012

More books for a budding Physicist the (relatively) easy way

Hi Prompted by Keiths question on my recent blog as to whether or not there was one text covering supersymmetry, quantum field theory for some one with MST209 and M208 under their belt. The quick answer is not really apart from the route I mapped out in my two reading lists for General relativity and particle physicists.

However a more straightforward route to get a glimpse would be to take advantage of the following texts, as before the best way to get a backgound in classical physics prior to study of quantum physics is via Longair's book

If one wanted some background on Maxwell's equations one could go also get hold of

Then one would be ready to start on quantum physics and general relativity and a good overview but which skimps on calculational detail is given by the 'Demystified series' so in order of reading

Quantum Mechanics


(This book does actually have quite an accessible introduction to modern coordinate free differential geometry)

Then Quantum Field theory

This is good as an overview but it really skimps on calculational detail.

Then you can try Superstings if thats your bag (It certainly isn't mine !!)

I have it on my shelf and whilst I can understand the maths I'm still mystified as to the relevance of superstrings to anything but worth having to get a glimpse of what all the fuss is about.

Finally and I wasn't aware of this there is one on supersymmetry (which I've just ordered)

 The one thing that the series doesn't cover is applications of group theory to physics so my recommendation is still Jones

This could profitably be read after the quantum mechanics book.

Added 28th JAn 2012

I forgot to mention the other field of current research namely quantum information theory and quantum computing, the best starting point is Mermin's lecture notes and they could be started straight away (Although the quantum mechanics book could be read beforehand)

I do find it remarkable that such a productive field of current research makes no mention of wavefunctions the distinction between classical computing and quantum computing seems to be the extension to q-bits rather than c-bits being the fact that q-bits are complex probability amplitudes rather than just binary numbers.

Those who want the real McCoy however are referred to my other reading lists

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris,
    Longair, it is, Chris.
    Thanks for that.
    Something to read informally while probability etc on a rigorous footing drives me slightly mad. :-)
    Some of those Demystified titles sound good, too.
    All the best mate, and happy studying.