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I realize this question is very broad but may be I will still get a helpful answers. References and textbooks for the development of the technical and mathematical aspects of QFT abound. However, I never came across a source dealing with the conceptual issues of QFT. I am interested in stuff like,

  • the meaning of Gauge symmetry,

  • Spontaneous symmetry breaking,

  • interpretation of renormalization group,

  • etc.

Are there any reference that deals with these issues mainly?

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Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

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A reference which doesn't cover the example topics you mention, but does discuss conceptual issues in QFT in general is Paul Teller's "An Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" –  twistor59 Oct 10 '11 at 11:32
    
When they teach you about "bare" particles, do not believe them, do not think it is an intrusion of aliens in "our theories"; it is a modern way to hide conceptual issues. –  Vladimir Kalitvianski Oct 10 '11 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

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This answer contains some additional resources that may be useful. Please note that answers which simply list resources but provide no details are strongly discouraged by the site's policy on resource recommendation questions. This answer is left here to contain additional links that do not yet have commentary.

  • B. Falkenburg, Particle Metaphysics, Springer, 2007.

  • Also by T.Y.Cao (BTW, NitinCR's suggestion is a compilation of articles by various authors from a number of points of view), Conceptual Developments of 20th Century Field Theories, Cambridge UP, 1997.

  • S.Y.Auyang, How is Quantum Field Theory Possible, Oxford UP, 1995.

  • Try the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on QFT, which includes (not too) many citations to books and papers. For conceptual issues on Physics generally, this is one place to look.

  • Look at Tom Banks' book Modern Quantum Field Theory: A Concise Introduction

  • It's not a book, but it might be helpful: The Conceptual Basis of Quantum Field Theory by Gerard 't Hooft. The file is on his web page.

  • There is a book, edited by T.Y. Cao, a rather notable philosopher of science at Boston University, that might be of interest. The title is "Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Field Theory".

  • A. Zee's "Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell" is also a very good reference.

  • The series by E. Zeidler are really worth reading through.

Credit: Peter Morgan, and deleted answers by NitinCR, Curious George and Physicists.

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