Some background:

I recently finished by Bachelors in Physics from a quite intensive program. We did all the theory to the core (Things that you would expect in grad level courses in the states were done explicitly) - Don't wanna give out the University but it's a German university.

I am extremely good with MIT 804,805 and pretty decent with 806. Had my Bachelor's thesis on Penrose's and Hawkings singularity theorems. Had to do Wald as a self-study (that was rough!)

I have no prior QFT background but I am pretty sure I do satisfy the prerequisites.

I looked around for a few books and lecture notes. Finally shortlisted to these three :

  1. Quantum field theory for the Gifted amateur, Lancaster and Blundell
  2. Quantum field theory - Srednicki
  3. Lecture notes on QFT - David Tong.

I personally love Lancaster. I read the first few chapters and I feel he really goes at an extremely nice pace. (Spoiler : I am not interested in condensed matter, my goal for QFT is to learn it from a perspective of someone who might end up in High energy theory / QFT in Curved spacetime). From this perspective, Srednicki's seems better, am I correct?. I read the first chapter, it was decent. The problems have a solution manual to work out.

I have heard nothing but good thing's about David Tong's notes. I have used this ED notes before and felt it was a bit challenging to read them if you are a beginner.

Any advice on how could I go around self-studying QFT over two months of just QFT (Some QM revision on the side).


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closed as primarily opinion-based by Emilio Pisanty, Qmechanic Jul 13 at 8:58

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    $\begingroup$ If you want to make a career out of doing research (you seem to be passionate about QFT in curved space time), then get a formal education (masters and PhD) in this field. Don't waste your time with self-study. $\endgroup$ – flippiefanus Jul 13 at 4:57
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah I am going to do that. I have been doing this all my Physics education though. Before I take the course, I study it in the summer so I get more insights. Same plan this summer just need a more pinpoint direction $\endgroup$ – Feynstein Jul 13 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Feynstein, for summer fun read, I would pick up A Zee's nutshell. As for a formal course, you can't go wrong with Schwartz, as Richard suggested. $\endgroup$ – MadMax Jul 13 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ Susskind's Advanced Quantum Mechanics has some review on quantum mechanics, and a few hours into quantum field theory. Hope this helps $\endgroup$ – Shing Jul 14 at 6:24

Lancaster and Srednicki are good books. But if you are interested in setting up your career in HEP, then I would suggest you "Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model" by Schwartz which is unique in its approach starting with the basics and ending with more advanced topics.

If you are interested in conceptual knowledge, the best option is "Quantum Field Theory: The Why, What and How" by Thanu Padmanabhan which teaches the reader those conceptual ideas that you wouldn't find elsewhere. Moreover, you could supplement the book with Padmanabhan's video lectures available online that are based on the text.


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