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Wish it had come out a long time ago
on 8 April 2011
When I was first trying to learn Quantum Field Theory (QFT), at the end of my college years and at the beginning of the graduate schools, the jump from the "regular" quantum mechanics seemed almost insurmountable. Even with a full year of graduate quantum mechanics, the kinds of concepts and calculations that are the staple of the QFT seemed beyond anything that I had encountered in Physics before. Unfortunately to this day there aren't many QFT textbooks that will give you the benefit of the doubt when first learning the subject. Most of them aim to be comprehensive, rather than pedagogical. Which is unfortunate because many more basic concepts and results are not beyond the ability of a more motivated undergraduate to grasp. In the light of that, I wish that David McMahon's book had been published earlier. There clearly is a need for book of this type, for both those who are interested in preparing themselves for a full-fledged course on QFT, as well for many practicing Physicist who could benefit from knowing the bare essentials of QFT for their own line of research (particle physicists, astrophysicists, etc.). As correctly pointed out by other reviewers, the book has its flaws. The ones that I find particularly prominent are 1. Many mistakes, 2. It can be conceptually fuzzy and less than accurate when it comes to some key concepts. 3. Non-inclusion of non-relativistic QFT (important for condensed matter applications) 4. Inclusion of Supersymmetry, which is a non-standard topic for most textbooks, and not even a verified concept, and 5. Poor typesetting. However, even with those flaws, the book is an important text for everyone who is interested in learning about QFT on their own for the first time. But it is not meant for everyone: one year of college-level quantum mechanics and familiarity with the modern tensor notation would be the minimal requirement s for taking a fool advantage of this book.