It is expected that you have previously taken courses in quantum mechanics
and special relativity (and basically all courses that would be standard
in a B.Sc. in Theoretical Physics)
Note that this coure is the first of a pair of modules in Quantum Field
For a preview of the follow up course in SPring 2020, you may want to
consult the university's offical page for
Quantum Field Theory 2 (MP652)
It is ill-advised to try to learn Quantum Field Theory from a single book.
There are many books and it is more or les universally agreed that
consulting multipe books is necessary for most people to gain a reasonable
Nevertheless it is useful to have one book as a guideline to keep track of
what we have covered. For this purpose, we will use the following
# Title:Quantum Field Theory
# Author: Mark Srednicki.
You will need this book so please make sure you have access to a
There is a webpage
for Srednicki's book which points to places where you can buy
it and which also helpfully distributes a free
pdf of a prepublication draft of the text and a list of errata.
There are many, many other books on Quantum Field Theory.
Peskin and Schroeder, An Introduction To Quantum Field Theory
Used in many QFT courses. Strong focus on high energy physics. Probably
more difficult to read than Srednicki's book
Ryder, Quantum Field Theory"
Seems to be a bit easier to read/lower level than Srednicki, but also
covers much less material.
Tom Lancaster, Quantum Field Theory for the gifted amateur
Good for self study - our graduate students like it. Not really for
amateurs but supposed to be lower level than Srednicki anyway.
Klauber, Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory
I have not actually seen this, but it gets
rave reviews online. This book has a
Mandl and Shaw, Quantum Field Theory
According to the internet, slightly harder and much more comprehensive
than Klauber's book. Liked by several members of staff in Maynooth.
Zee, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell
Seems to be good for extra/deeper insight, but not so good as a first
book for QFT
Weinberg, The Quantum Theory of Fields (several volumes)
Long, comprehensive and hard, apparently.
Does everything from symmetry principles, in particular stongly
emphasises the role of Lorentz symmetry in particle physics.
Some books that are more focused on condensed matter (not recommended as
your first QFT textbook)
Altland and Simons, Condensed Matter Field Theory
Seems to be the most standard of the current CMT + QFT books
Fetter and Walecka, Quantum Theory of Many-particle
Very old (CGS units!) but well written. Also it's a Dover book now
Piers Coleman, Introduction to Many-Body Physics
Seems to be well liked, and fairly recent
There will be an examination which counts for 90% of the mark.
There will also be exercises. It will be essential to do them if you want
to have any chance to pass the exam.
Some of them will be marked for credit, 10% of the overall mark.
As with all courses in theoretical physics, you can only really learn the subject
by practising it yourself. (Also, you could substitute "enjoy" for learn in the
previous sentence and it would still be true). To aid this process, there will be a
number of assignments and weekly tutorials.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions for the lectures and
the webpage (maybe you don't like green :)), then please send us an
email. We can't promise to make everybody happy,
but we will try.