From Griffiths to Peskin: a lit review for beginners


A nice guide. I am currently following it.

Originally posted on An American Physics Student in England:

a.k.a. “How to get started learning QFT as an undergraduate.”

5 Jan 07: Slight updates (added more details) to a few of the reviews, and an added caveat.

Quantum Field Theory (QFT) plays a key role in all branches of theoretical physics. For students interested in high energy theory, exposure to QFT at any early stage is slowly becoming the standard for top American graduate schools. This is already the case for the Mathematics Tripos at Cambridge.

However, the ‘standard’ American undergraduate physics curriculum doesn’t typically encourage Quantum Field Theory, nor do smaller liberal arts college regularly offer QFT courses. It is often expected that a student will take a second year of ‘graduate’ quantum mechanics before taking QFT.

An inspired student with adequate background should be able to take quantum mechanics in his/her second or third year and then progress directly to a ‘real’ QFT course with a bit…

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A reflection on my study of physics

大学生涯转眼已过两年,观吾物理学习之路,感慨颇多。近日遍寻研究而不得,可谓一憾,自以为与蒋爷当年的差距越来越大,复其之路似无望。不过正因如此,我要走出自己的道路,为自己的theoretical physics之梦而努力。可回顾这两年来物理的学习,颇感不得其法。虽成绩尚可,可是自感学习过程只是机械式的读书,未有太多自己的思考。常自省这点,可是需所学之theory甚多,而无所见至今只是当代物理之皮毛,便只得囫囵吞枣的看书以求知道个一二。恐如此这般,并非是学物理之正道。希望今乘暑假之良机,可调整心态,得习物理之法门。


The first chapter of Shankar

Just finished the first chapter of Shankar, which is truly amazing. Shankar’s introduction to Hilbert space and Delta function is clear and thorough. The material is indeed quite new to me, but I just felt exciting learning all these new concepts. Certainly, I think I need to go back to this chapter later and reread in order to really learn the stuff well.

I have a feeling that this quarter shall be amazing.