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Quantum Fields in Curved Space (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics) Paperback – 23 Feb 1984


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'… the authors are to be congratulated on producing a timely work that should help to stimulate interest in this fascinating branch of theoretical physics.' Nature

'This book is a clear and cogent introduction to a partially charted territory that has already proved remarkably fertile. The cultivation of new ideas should be greatly aided by providing graduate students with this coordinated textbook.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

Book Description

A comprehensive review of gravitational effects in quantum field theory, with special emphasis given to the Hawking black hole evaporation effect, and to particle creation processes in the early universe. All the major technical results are presented, and the theory is developed carefully from first principles. Everything that students or researchers need to embark upon calculations involving quantum effects of gravity.

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In this chapter we shall summarize the essential features of ordinary Minkowski space quantum field theory, with which we assume the reader has working knowledge. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Out of date but motivates modern developments 22 Sep 2003
By Dr. Lee D. Carlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At the time of publication of this book, there was growing interest in how to formulate quantum field theory in spactimes with curved metrics with the intent of studying to what extent a non-flat curvature would change the properties and behavior of quantum fields as compared to the Minkowski case.The authors give an introduction to this research and they do a good job in that regard. Due to the influence of superstring and M-theory on high energy physics at the present time, fewer researchers are studying the problems as they are cast in this book. On the other hand, interest in the Casimir effect and the behavior of quantum fields at boundaries is still very much alive. This book could still be use to motivate this research. It is expected that anyone reading this book will have a background in quantum field theory in flat space, but one could still perhaps read it without such a background.
Quantum field theory in flat spacetime is difficult enough, and it is still not entirely understood from a mathematical perspective. Even the physics of interacting quantum fields is still poorly understood in flat spacetime, especially in its ability to predict a bound state. Therefore, it might seem a bit disconcerting to some for researchers to add further complications to quantum field theory by casting them in curved backgrounds. However, cosmological and astrophysical interests drives this research, as well as more practical considerations arising from the Casimir effect.
The renormalization procedures in quantum field theory are further complicated in curved spacetime via the "trace" or "conformal" anomalies. The reader gets a good dose of these in the book in the discussion on the renormalization of the stress. The idea of an "effective" action, which has been exploited with zeal in the flat spacetime case, appears here also.

The most important thing to carry away from this book is that the idea of a particle in curved space quantum field theory is not very well-formulated, i.e. particle detectors in such situations are not related to the quantity of matter present in a region as they are in the flat-space case. Doing quantum field theory when gravity is present has instigated a huge amount of research, related to the still unsolved problem of just how to quantize the gravitational field.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 29 Nov 1999
By Jeff Murugan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of the better books on quantum fields that I have read so far. An especially good treatment of the Casimir effect and boudary terms is given. The authors have a wonderfully conversive manner of discourse which I enjoyed very much.
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