Often papers and books give some bold(deep physical insight) statements in quantum field theory which are not backed by mathematics, and seldom by citing papers. Being a student I don't grasp the real meaning of those statements, making me think that I don't really understand QFT. I have access to all the standard books in QFT, but is there a book/lecture notes that really aims to explain QFT in a way in which the ideas emerged, it's philosophy with a physical insight at a level of a graduate student ?

I am mighty interested in doing theoretical high energy physics, and crave for a better understanding of QFT. Could somebody help me ....

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    $\begingroup$ Did you see this...? Zee's book comes close to what you ask. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2012 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ I would also recommend Richard Feynman's QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. It's available cheap in paperback or by download, and provides an accurate and precise explanation of several important concepts in QFT. It is not a QFT book, however, so @VijayMurthy's references provides a more direct and comprehensive answer to your question. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2012 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Can you give examples? In my opinion, you can't learn QFT without going through the 1950s and 1960s literature and seeing the problems and methods they used back then, in addition to the modern stuff, post-t'Hooft. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Maimon
    Commented Apr 8, 2012 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ Instead of asking for sources, why don't you post the sentences that give you trouble one by one, as separate questions--- loads of people will tell you exactly what they mean. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Maimon
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ I wouldn't sweat it if you aren't grasping everything that is going on. Especially reading current research papers can be daunting since every sentence packs so much assumed prior knowledge it can seem like don't know anything at all. Work out lots of problems and calculations and ask more specific questions here. $\endgroup$
    – DJBunk
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


E. Zeidler, Quantum Field theory I Basics in Mathematics and Physics, Springer 2006. http://www.mis.mpg.de/zeidler/qft.html

is a book I highly recommend. It is the first volume of a sequence, of which not all volumes have been published yet. This volume gives an overview over the main mathematical techniques used in quantum physics, in a way that you cannot find anywhere else.

It is a mix of rigorous mathematics and intuitive explanation, and tries to build ''A bridge between mathematiciands and physicists'' as the subtitle says.

See https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/22413/7924 for a more recommendation of the book.


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