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am 17. Dezember 2016
I am less enthusiastic about Lewis Ryder's book on QFT than I was about two decades ago (see, my review published in Foundations of Physics, 28 (1998) 527-529.). The reason is that there are several conceptual errors that Ryder's book continues to propagate. The first is the derivation of Dirac equation, and since I have explained it in my book review I direct the reader to that reference, and also to a very nice article by Fabian Gaioli and Edgardo Garcia Alvarez in Am. J. Phys. 63 (1995) 177-178. The second problem is that the Dirac quantum field introduced by Ryder is in conflict with the derivation of the same object in Steven Weinberg's classic on the same subject. Several research papers hint at that quite explicitly, see, for example, D. V. Ahluwalia, Cheng-Yang Lee, and D. Schritt, Phys. Rev. D 83, 065017 (2011) and Phys. Lett. B 687, 248–252 (2010).

The best books, in my opinion, on the subject are: by Steven Weinberg and by Bogolyubov and colleagues. These books demand a couple of years of self study, but I see no escape from that task -- if you are a serious student of the subject. These will take you on a path to become a physicist rather than a technician of Physics.
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am 29. Juli 1999
Die "Quantum Field Theory" von Lewis H. Ryder ist eine gut gelungene Einführung in die QFT. In einem motivierenden Kapitel geht der Autor auf das heutige Bild der Elementarteilchenphysik ein. In kurzen Kapiteln beschreibt er die vier fundamentalen Wechselwirkungen, Hadronen und Leptonen, sowie die Bedeutung der Symmetrie in ihrer Beschreibung. In den folgenden Kapiteln beschreibt er die Klein-Gordon- und ausführlich die Dirac-Gleichung. Bemerkenswert ist das Unterkapitel über die Poincaré-Gruppe und ihre Konsequenzen für die Quantenelektrodynamik. Nur in wenigen anderen Büchern findet man eine ähnlich gute Abhandlung des Themas. die drei weiteren Kapitel gehen ausführlich auf die Pfadintegralmethode und die Yang-Mills-Theorie ein. Auch das ist bemerkenswert breit angelegt und liefert eine weite Einsicht in das Gebiet. Es folgen Kapitel über Renormalisierung, das Standardmodell und Eichtheorie. Ein abschliessendes Kapitel beschäftigt sich dann noch mit topologischen Aspekten der Feldtheorie sowie einer Einführung in die Supersymmetrie. Dieses Kapitel ist in der Form neu in der zweiten Auflage. Ryders Werk ist wirklich gut geeignet für eine erste Berührung mit der QFT. Zahlreiche knapp kommentierte Literaturhinweise zeigen dem Leser, wie ein vertieftes Studium weitergehen könnte. Alles in allem kann ich das Buch jedem Einsteiger nur wärmstens empfehlen. (Dies ist eine Amazon.de an der Uni-Studentenrezension.)
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am 17. Juni 2001
You know non-relativistic quantum-mechanics and want to get into quantum fields quickly but thoroughly this is the right book. It is easy to read and provides though being introductory some deeper insight into the concepts of field theories. Really striking is the derivation of the Dirac equations from the spin-symmetry. All important topics of quantum fields are introduced in a way that one can start reading more advanced books.
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am 10. Februar 2000
It is an introductory book on QFT. If you have no experience in QFT, it gives you much with easy reading. The way to indroduce a subject is as easy as one in Quamtum Mechanics. You can understand the book if you have fully know nonrelativsitic QM. The demerit of the book is to have no exercise problems. So you have to read other books to supplement your study on QFT.
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am 9. Dezember 1998
This was my first text in quantum field theory. And learned a great deal from it in grad school. I bought several QFT books since then. While this book is detailed (semi-proof of renormalizability of QED etc.), it doesn't really discuss the concepts behind it very much, like what is the physical meaning of 'second quantization' and why do it at all. A better introduction, I think is Kaku's Quantum Field Theory, with more legible typefaces, clear exposition of the concepts so you will remember things better later on and lots of examples. Some might say it's easier, but kaku's book taught me something beyond the technical aspects of QFT. But still, Ryder's book is much better than a lot of other books on QFT.
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am 16. August 2011
This textbook is probably one of the most readable books on Quantum Field Theory. The level of formalism and mathematical complexity varies from chapter to chapter, which has its virtues and drawbacks. The chapters that are not too math-heavy are usually the more intelligible ones, and they present the otherwise fairly arcane material in a very accessible and physically-motivated fashion. On the other hand these chapters leave out a lot of calculation or just skim through those somewhat superficially. If you are trying to learn Quantum Field Theory so that you become proficient enough to pursue research in this field, then you may find this lack of detail frustrating.

One of the virtues of this book are the extended references that can be found at the ends of chapters. These refer both to the original research papers and other books that may cover the same material in more depth or with a different approach. These references are invaluable in their own right, and make this book a great resource to have.

The last chapter focuses on supersymmetry. This could be viewed as a somewhat controversial choice of topic to be included in a textbook that covers the fundamentals of quantum field theory. Supersymmetry, despite decades of theoretical investigation, so far has not yielded a single observable verification. There might be something in the claims of its proponents that it has a very appealing conceptual and mathematical structure, but even its simplest formulation that have any bearing on the real world are so complex that any traces of conceptual simplicity are irrevocably lost. However, whatever your feelings about supersymmetry might be, this chapter is valuable in its own right, since it gives a lot of interesting mathematics that are relevant to fermionic and bosonic fields in general.

One big problem that I have with this book as a textbook is a total lack of problems and exercises. As such is probably not well suited as a primary book for learning this material. Nonetheless, there are some detailed calculations of some important formal results, and these can be used in conjunction with other textbooks.

I would recommend this book to be used as a secondary study material for an introductory course on Quantum Field Theory. This way all of its strong points would be utilized, while its few weaknesses would not be an obstacle to fully absorbing otherwise very difficult material.
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am 5. Dezember 1999
This book is not a cut and paste job, but a scholarly treatise. If Bjorken and Drell's clasic is a recipe book for calculations, this book will tell you were does the Dirac equation comes from, what is the physics behind the path integral approach, and what are the guiding principles behind almost any question you might ask in quantum field theory. The book will also inspire the reader to look beyond into the classic research papers and other books, such as those written by Weinberg, and other original thinkers. In the derivation of the Dirac equation (p. 44 of the first Ed., and p. 41 of the second Ed.) the reader is asked to correct phi_R(0)=phi_L(0) - the equality actually holds up to a phase factor; and the demand for parity covarinace reduces it to a plus minus sign. See my review available on LANL archives for more details (also, in Found. of Phys./Lett). In short, do not be discouraged by the introductory first chapter (as one of the Amazon review warns you). This book by Ryder is an effort of affectionate scholarship. It has flaws, here and there, but these flaws are far fewer than any other book I know at this level. Once you have read this book, by all means venture into the Weinberg triology. If one had only three texts on one's book shelf, I would recommend Ryder's QFT, Weinberg's Gravitation, and Dirac's Principles of Quantum Mechanics.
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am 25. Oktober 1996
This is my favorite Quantum Field Theory book. It is the
book I return to over and over when trying to understand
something new about QFT. I originally bought it because of
the treatment of electroweak theory, but the differential
geometry and gauge theory treatments are also excellent. It
is a model for physics textbooks.
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am 5. Dezember 1998
It is a very good introduction to QFT and a great supplementary book for the first class in the subject. It does have some shortcomings; it lacks exercises. The book uses many of the most current methods (especially topological).
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am 30. September 1999
I have read this book and find it to be inadequate in the first chapter. Not for beginners who actually want to learn. Maybe its good beyond the first chapter, but if you dont get chapter 1, I dont know how one can proceed. I fails to explain spin, and the rules behind its addition. Maybe its obvious once you know it, but if you dont... Basically he failed in his attempt to explain the fundamental particles and the rules behind their comination.
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