Before actually buying the book, I'd like to know whether the emphasis is placed on the mathematical calculational side, or on the conceptual one. I've tried to teach myself (experimentalist, not even in HEP) some QFT, however, I was completely stuck when it came to "leaving the conceptual" side.
I'd appreciate an answer.
The book puts a special emphasis on building a conceptual basis for the subject as a whole as well as the individual topics/equations that you encounter throughout the book. I have not seen the level of intuition that this book offers in any other QFT book (and I have tried the usuals). However, the book is quite self-contained in math and specifically in teaching you to carry out detailed calculations (it is by no means a hand-waiving kind), but at least in the first sections (where more powerful methods such as path-integral formulation has not yet been introduced) instead of proving results mathematically, they have been proven intuitively and by giving excellent examples (and then proven rigorously in later chapters).
I tried to write a book that would explain both the conceptual foundations for quantum field theory and the mathematical tools and methods used by physicists who work in the field today. I hope I succeeded.
This is perhaps a good question for the forum section. I am hoping that the forum will work better than blog comments for these types of inquiries, since the forum is threaded and searchable. If you post your question there, you may get more responses from readers.
After consulting the local university library and speaking with lecturers who work in the field, I found this text more apt than the wordy Peskin. With conceptual side, I refer to Aitchinson & Hey: Gauge Theories in Particle Physics.
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Matthew D. Schwartz is an Associate Professor of Physics at Harvard University