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PHYS 215A: Quantum Field Theory
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About this course

Practical Information

Time and Place

Mayer Hall 5301
Monday and Wednesday, 12:30- 1:50


There will be a homework assigned every 2 weeks (approximately)
There will be a final project or take home exam
Grade will be a combination of 60% homework, 30% final project/exam, 10% participation

Office Hours

Tuesday & Wednesday: 3pm
With: Prof. Grinstein
Mayer Hall 5230
Office hours will continue until the earlier of 4pm or all students leaving
Additional office hours will be arranged upon request

Course Description

From the UCSD course catalogue: The first quarter of a three-quarter course on field theory and elementary particle physics. Topics covered include the relation between symmetries and conservation laws, the calculation of cross sections and reaction rates, covariant perturbation theory, and quantum electrodynamics. It is unlikely that we will cover Quantum Electrodynamics in this 10 week course.

Homework and Exams

And Solutions


  1. Due October 22 (Solutions)
  2. Due November 3 (Solutions)
  3. Due November 17 (Solutions)
  4. Due December 1 (Solutions)
  5. Due December 18 (Solutions) This is not compulsory, but does give you extra credit.



Course notes prepared by the instructor.

You may also want to use your favorite search engine to look for Quantum Field Theory Lecture Notes PDF.
I often consult my personal notes of Sidney Coleman's lectures. Brian Hill's notes of Coleman's course can be found in arXiv:1110.5013.

Chapter 1: Introduction


Why do we need QFT? Pair production. Klein's Paradox. Bohr's Box. Causality. Units and conventions.

Chapter 2: Canonical Quantization


From Poisson brackets to commutators. Creation and annihilation operators. Fock Space.

Chapter 3: Symmetries


Continuous symmetries: Noether's theorem, conserved charges as generators, spacetime and internal symmetries, abelian and nonabelian symmetry groups. Discrete symmetries: review of antilinear and antiunitary operators; C, P and T; CPT theorem.

Chapter 4: External Sources


Real scalar field coupled to external localized source. S-matrix. Phase space. Evolution operator and Interaction Picture. Wick's Theorem. Time-ordered products.

Chapter 5: Elementary Processes


Kallen-Leehmann spectral representation. LSZ reduction. Perturbation theory. Feynman graphs. Cross section. Generating functions.

Chapter 6: Fields that are not scalars.


Group Representations. Weyl, Majorana and Dirac Spinors. Quantization, Fermi-Dirac statistics. Perturbation theory and LSZ. Feynman Rules. All representations of the Lorentz Group

Free Textbooks and Monographs

There are many texts on QFT. Here are some that can be obtained or read online for free. Click on them to get more info.

Luis Alvarez-Gaumé & Miguel A. Vázquez-Mozo

An Invitation to Quantum Field Theory

Anthony Zee

Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell

V. Parameswaran Nair

Quantum Field Theory: A Modern Perspective

Henryk Arodz
& Leszek Hadasz

Lectures on Classical and Quantum Theory of Fields

Mark Srednicki

Quantum Field Theory

Anthony Duncan

The Conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory

Other Texts

There are many texts on QFT. These are available at the UCSD library. Click on them to get more info.

Michael E. Peskin and Dan V. Schroeder

An Introduction To Quantum Field Theory

Claude Itzykson & Jean-Bernard Zuber

Quantum Field Theory

James D. Bjorken & Sidney D. Drell

Relativistic Quantum Fields

Pierre Ramond

Field Theory: A Modern Primer (Frontiers in Physics)

Ashok Das

Lectures of Quantum Field Theory

Steven Weinberg

The Quantum Theory of Fields, Vols I and II

Raymond F. Streater & Arthur S. Wightman

PCT, Spin and Statistics, and All That

Matthew D. Schwartz

Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model

Our Amazing Team

The Instructor, Teaching Assistants, Administrative Support: all rolled into one!

Benjamin Grinstein

Distinguished Professor of Physics

Prof . Grinstein is a Theoretical Physicist. His main research interests are in the areas of particle physics and cosmology. Learn more about his recent work on his website.

Contact The Team

Of course, students know how to contact "the team" anyway.