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Useful for few
am 18. November 2013
As others have already said here, Weinberg's treatment of quantum field theory (QFT) is hardly suitable for beginners. It is also not useful as an accompaniment to any lecture on the subject, unless the lecture is based directly on the book (I sincerely hope no professor would consider using this text for an introductory QFT course). This is because Weinberg insists on using a highly nonstandard notation, apparently trying to appeal to readers with a background in mathematics. Indeed, a lot of technical aspects are presented in a manner that is unusually rigorous in its mathematics, instead cutting down on the type of "intuitive" explanations that most physics texts (and physicists) prefer. At times this book reminded me of Ticciati's "Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians", an interesting book in its own right. However, whereas Ticciati's logic can be easily followed, Weinberg apparently does not realize that most of his "trivial" statements are left unexplained, and are in fact incomprehensible without knowledge from other books.
For whom is this book suited, then? If you already have a strong background in quantum field theory and a feel for mathematical thinking, and missed technical rigorosity in Peskin & Schroeder's 800-page tome, you might want to give this book a try. If you want to actually understand quantum field theory or particle physics, you'll be better off with Zee's "QFT in a nutshell" or Peskin/Schroeder as an introduction and Cheng/Li for more advanced topics. I think the vast majority of potential readers belongs to the second group.