Introduction to Elementary Particles

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Wiley, Oct 13, 2008 - Science - 454 pages
9 Reviews
In the second, revised edition of a well-established textbook, the author strikes a balance between quantitative rigor and intuitive understanding, using a lively, informal style. The first chapter provides a detailed historical introduction to the subject, while subsequent chapters offer a quantitative presentation of the Standard Model. A simplified introduction to the Feynman rules, based on a "toy" model, helps readers learn the calculational techniques without the complications of spin. It is followed by accessible treatments of quantum electrodynamics, the strong and weak interactions, and gauge theories. New chapters address neutrino oscillations and prospects for physics beyond the Standard Model. The book contains a number of worked examples and many end-of-chapter problems. A complete solution manual is available for instructors.

- Revised edition of a well-established text on elementary particle physics
- With a number of worked examples and many end-of-chapter problems
- Helps the student to master the Feynman rules
- Solution manual available for instructors

David Griffiths is Professor of Physics at the Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After obtaining his PhD in elementary particle theory at Harvard, he taught at several colleges and universities before joining the faculty at Reed in 1978. He specializes in classical electrodynamics and quantum mechanics as well as elementary particles, and has written textbooks on all three subjects.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - giant_bug - LibraryThing

This edition is an update of Griffith's original particle physics text, published in 1987, updating the physics with all the recent changes to the Standard Model. The main feature of IEP is that it is ... Read full review

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One of the most interesting and most intellectually far-reaching areas of modern Physics is Particle Physics. No other area of Physics has as conceptually profound implications for our understanding of how the world works on the very fundamental level, and nowhere else have the experiments been as monumental and imposing. And yet, particle Physics is rarely if ever taught in undergraduate Physics curriculum. The reason often given for this is that mathematical sophistication required for fully understanding this subject is far beyond the capability of most undergraduates. However, if done properly, the mathematical sophistication need not be beyond what is required in an upper level Electricity and Magnetism or Quantum Mechanics courses. To the contrary - the most important results in Particle Physics can be obtained by mathematical means that are not nearly as demanding as those in those other two upper level Physics courses. A perfect example of this are the textbooks by David Griffiths. He has been well known to generations of Physics students who had used his Electricity and Magnetism or Quantum Mechanics textbooks. These textbooks have become a de-facto standard for teaching those subjects. These textbooks are also known for many very demanding problems that require many, many pages of mathematical manipulation. And yet, most of these manipulations are much harder than anything you'll encounter in Griffiths' "Introduction to Elementary particles." There is still a collection of worked-out examples, but nowhere nearly at the level of what one finds in his other books. The presentation is characteristically accessible and pedagogical. A considerable amount of space is devoted to historical and experimental considerations, and this textbook also serves as a useful history of the development of particle Physics.
The second edition greatly streamlines some presentations and introduces a few new topics that have been of interest in particle Physics in recent decades - most notably the neutrino oscillations. The chapter on future developments is mostly descriptive, and mercifully short on certain topics that have enjoyed a lot of attention lately but have been woefully short on experimental verifications, such as supersymmetry and string theory. In the end we are left off with a picture of current understanding of particle Physics that shows this field of research both as a tremendous success and still a work in progress. Hopefully in the upcoming decades we'll be able to fill in many of the holes and come up with a more streamlined understanding of nature at the most fundamental level. Until then, textbooks like this one will be the best and surest way of getting the basic facts about the nature of elementary particles.
 

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About the author (2008)

David Griffiths is Professor of Physics at the Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After obtaining his PhD in elementary particle theory at Harvard, he taught at several colleges and universities before joining the faculty at Reed in 1978. He specializes in classical electrodynamics and quantum mechanics as well as elementary particles, and has written textbooks on all three subjects.

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