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?


1 Answer 1


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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