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M. Salem "nickname1746" (Pasadena, CA United States)
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An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
by Michael E. Peskin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 88.75
31 used & new from CDN$ 65.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but could be better, June 30 2004
I used P&S for an intro QFT course. I learned much from the text as I found it clear and full of helpful examples. Particularly nice sections were those introducing free quantum fields, functional methods (path integrals), and non-abelian gauge theories and their quantization. In other sections, however, P&S often take many pages and indirect paths towards deriving basic results, which is particularly frustrating when one wishes to use the text for reference. The chapter introducing interacting fields seems disorganized, and the treatments of infrared and uv divergences (renormalization) seem to go on forever, with interesting or important results scattered through hundreds of pages. The discussion of the Standard Model is likewise overly verbose yet incomplete, and there is no discussion of susy. In this and other ways this text is less advanced than Ryder's, though I found its presentations clearer than Ryder's.
Overall, I found this a nice book to learn from, but horrible to return to when I try to fill in the gaps of my understanding of QFT.

General Relativity ***Ref 0-226-87033-2***
General Relativity ***Ref 0-226-87033-2***
by R.M. Wald
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, June 25 2004
I used this text for a course after taking an undergraduate GR course based on Shutz. I found Shutz to be a much clearer and pedagogical text, and don't think I would have learned GR as easily if I had started with Wald. I think one requires greater mathematical preparation than I possess to fully appreciate the discussions involving topology in the second chapter and appendix. Oddly, however, this text becomes clearer as the reader advances through it: later chapters were more straightforward and still concise.

Modern Cosmology
Modern Cosmology
by Scott Dodelson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 65.57
37 used & new from CDN$ 59.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great text, June 24 2004
This review is from: Modern Cosmology (Hardcover)
I haven't used another cosmology text for comparison, but have been very pleased with this one. The text is everywhere clear, reasonably concise, and the author uses good judgment in determining which calculations to present as examples and which to reserve for practice, all of which make this a very easy text to read. My only reservations are that necessary assumptions and approximations do not always seem fully justified, and the reader is often asked to wait until later in the text for certain approximations to be justified, which at times disrupts the logical flow of the text. The text is also somewhat incomplete in the sense that Dodelson does not always start from first principles. In my case I considered this an advantage as it allowed for quicker reading and less overhead before important results are presented. The discussion of inflation was less complete than I had hoped, but sufficient to prepare me for the literature.

Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. II
Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. II
by Berkeley Physics
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 62.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Great text!, June 24 2004
I used this text in an 'advanced' introductory physics course and loved it. Explanations are clear and concise, examples and homework problems are of sufficient sophistication to prepare one for challanging exams, and the text limits itself to a thorough study of the more basic concepts of electricity and magnetism. The text is excellent preparation for more advanced study, and probably a good reference for students who need help while pursuing more advanced study.

Physics for Scientists and Engineers (with Physicsnow and Infotrac )
Physics for Scientists and Engineers (with Physicsnow and Infotrac )
by Raymond A. Serway
Edition: Hardcover
14 used & new from CDN$ 14.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Good introductory text, June 24 2004
This was the required text for a course I TAed. I found the text useful for preparing my own lectures, as it often reminded me of ideas I would have 'taken for granted' among my students, although I found derivations often uncompelling and examples often glossing over subtle points. Also, examples and homework problems seemed predominantly to explore only straightforward applications of course concepts. I imagine, however, that many students at this level (freshmen bio, geo, and non-science majors) would prefer this kind of treatment, which is why, considering also this text's clarity and simplicity of presentation, I gave the above four star rating.
Students who consider themselves more analytically inclined would be wise to consult instead Purcell. In fewer words Purcell describes E&M more clearly and more completely, with interesting examples and homework problems which evoke a fuller understanding of the theory.

Thermal Physics (2nd Edition)
Thermal Physics (2nd Edition)
by Charles Kittel Herbert Kroemer
Edition: Hardcover
29 used & new from CDN$ 110.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Overall good book, Dec 10 2001
I agree with Pate: my classmates generally didn't like the book as much as I did, but I prefer a text which, although it may require a second reading of some sections, doesn't waste my time with unnecessarily verbose explanations. The section ending summaries make the text great for reference. I found the statistical approach inspiring. I agree with my classmate aakeply concerning the quality of the binding. This seems to be an ubiquitous phenomena concerning physics texts: the bindings of my Griffiths electrodynamics, Griffiths quantum mechanics, and Marion mechanics are all falling apart.

A First Course in General Relativity
A First Course in General Relativity
by Bernard F. Schutz
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 9.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and clear, Dec 10 2001
I used this text as an undergraduate, and found it to possess and nice combination of clarity, readability, and rigor: qualities not always combined in a single text. The text does not cover applications with as much attention, I presume the author expects the text to be followed by a more complete one. A term paper forced me to use, among other texts, Wald's, which I also found to be clear, and seemingly more comprehensive (I only read a few sections from Wald, though).

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
by David J. Griffiths
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.05

3.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, not that rigorous, Dec 9 2001
I presume the conversational tone of this text makes it appealing to many people; I found it annoying after a while, and I think he uses it to avoid details in many derivations. The notation is not used consistently, the powerful algebraic principles behind QM are introduced in the third chapter and then hardly used again, and likewise the text relies rather heavily on the coordinate representation and on classical arguments. The greatest shortcoming of the text is its brevity: the descriptions of several topics, including matrix mechanics, scattering, and applications, are incomplete, while other topics, such as the Heisenberg representation and the density matrix, are missing entirely. For an undergraduate course, I recommend Liboff, who I think is clearer, more comprehensive, and features some extra goodies such as a brief introduction to the Dirac and Klein Gordon equations.

Introduction to Solid State Physics, 7th Edition
Introduction to Solid State Physics, 7th Edition
by Charles Kittel
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 16.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Myers, Dec 9 2001
All I can say is this text is better than that by Myers: it is clearer, more concise, and more rigorous. I found it easy to read, even given that I skipped many sections (the required text for my Solid State course was Myers, so I used this book to fill in gaps left by that one). A classmate of mine used Ashcroft and Mermin instead, and was praising of that text.

Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems
Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems
by Jerry B. Marion
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 39.90

5.0 out of 5 stars I don't think the book deserves the low rating it has, Dec 9 2001
I haven't used any other mechanics text, so I have no basis of comparison, but I was surprised at how low this text's rating was so I'm giving it 5 stars to boost it. I thought the text was very clear and found the "formalism" refreshing after three semesters of mind-numbing Halliday and Resnick type texts. Also, there is plenty of material here (if it's used as a one semester text).

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