A Practical Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
This was a 7 lecture graduate course on introductory quantum field theory, aimed primarily at 4th years, Master's and PhD students, delivered at Bristol University.
The full set of lecture notes is available here.
The problem sets are available here.
The recommended course textbooks are:
- T. Lancaster and S. J. Blundell, “Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur”
- M. Peskin and D. V. Schroeder, “An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory”
- A. Zee, “Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell”
- A. Altland and B. Simons, “Condensed Matter Field Theory”
Finally, check out this great film about Hideki Yukawa.
Fermi Problems (Estimation and Dimensional Analysis)
Click here for a copy of my problem sheet on Fermi estimation. Being able to rapidly estimate quantities to an order of magnitude will be among the most vital skills you will learn in a physics degree. There are two excellent references I know of, both highly worth a read and freely available online:
- “Order-of-Magnitude Physics: Understanding the World with Dimensional Analysis, Guesswork, and White Lies” by P. Goldreich, S. Mahajan, and S. Phinney (issued by Stanford and available here)
- “Modern Physics from an Elementary Point of View” by V. F. Weisskopf (issued by CERN and available here)
You might also like to look at the SI unit specification.
1st year Essential Maths for Physics
This section was for the benefit of my first year tutorial groups at Bristol.
- Click here for my notes on Fourier analysis using Dirac notation.
- Click here for my notes on the chain rule.
- Click here for my 5-point plan regarding line integrals.
- Click here for my 5-point plan for evaluating double integrals.
- Click here for an extract from Blundell (see below) proving a couple of useful partial derivative relations.
PS2 Q6. b) i) asks if a.bxc is a valid vector expression. It is if the (x) is done before the (.). Can you think of any cases where introducing the new order of precedence “(x) before (.)” fails? Can you prove that it always works?
- M. L. Boas, “Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences”
- K. F. Riley, M. P. Hobson, and S. J. Bence, "Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering”
- I'd also recommend S. J. Blundell and K. M. Blundell, “Concepts in Thermal Physics” which is a Thermodynamics textbook, but covers several topics of maths very clearly, including partial differentiation and the chain rule. You may also find browsing the appendices very rewarding!
I was a teaching assistant for the 4th year 'Advanced Quantum Mechanics' course run by Prof. John Hannay, the 4th year 'Relativistic Fields' course run by Prof. Mark Dennis, and the 3rd year 'Quantum Mechanics' course run by Dr. Jasper van Wezel, now run by Dr. Tony Short.
I am always happy to answer questions on these topics, or indeed any other topics. Please feel free to email me.