Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model is new textbook from Cambridge University Press, covering the foundations and methods of modern particle physics.

Matthew D. Schwartz is a Professor of Physics at Harvard University.

5th printing now available!

Publisher's summary:

Providing a comprehensive introduction to quantum field theory, this textbook covers the development of particle physics from its foundations to the discovery of the Higgs boson. Its combination of clear physical explanations, with direct connections to experimental data, and mathematical rigor make the subject accessible to students with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Assuming only an undergraduate-level understanding of quantum mechanics, the book steadily develops the Standard Model and state-of-the art calculation techniques. It includes multiple derivations of many important results, with modern methods such as effective field theory and the renormalization group playing a prominent role. Numerous worked examples and end-of-chapter problems enable students to reproduce classic results and to master quantum field theory as it is used today. Based on a course taught by the author over many years, this book is ideal for an introductory to advanced quantum field theory sequence or for independent study.


  • Theoretical methods are motivated and validated with concrete physical questions and experimental data.
  • ¬†Numerous worked examples and end-of-chapter problems enable students to reproduce classic results and to master modern quantum field theory.
  • Provides a complete coverage of the subject, from quantum electrodynamics to the discovery of the Higgs boson.
  • Modern approaches, such as renormalization group methods and effective field theory, play aprominent role.
  • Multiple derivations are presented for many important results.
  • Mathematically rigorous results are proven and explained, with real-world examples illustrating their importance.
  • Builds from undergraduate-level quantum mechanics to modern research topics

Table of Contents:

Part I:
Quantum Field Theory
1. Microscopic theory of radiation
2. Lorentz invariance and second quantization
3. Classical field theory
4. Old-fashioned perturbation theory
5. Cross sections and decay rates
6. The S-Matrix and time-ordered products
7. Feynman rules
Part II:
Quantum Electrodyanmics
8. Spin 1 and gauge invariance
9. Scalar quantum electrodynamics
10. Spinors
11. Spinor solutions and CPT
12. Spin and Statistics
13. Quantum electrodynamics
14. Path integrals
Part III:
15. The Casimir effect
16. Vacuum polarization
17. The anomalous magnetic moment
18. Mass renormalization
19 Renormalized perturbation theory
20. Infrared divergences
21. Renormalizability
22. Non-renormalizable theories
23. The renormalization group
24. Implications of unitarity
Part IV:
The Standard Model
25. Yang-Mills theory
26. Quantum Yang-Mills theory
27. Gluon scattering and the spinor-helicity formalism
28. Spontaneous symmetry breaking
29. Weak interactions
30. Anomalies
31. Precision tests of the Standard Model
32. Quantum chromodynamics and the parton model
Part V:
Advanced Topics
33. Effective actions and Schwinger proper time
34. Background fields
35. Heavy-quark physics
36. Jets and effective theory