Course page for Physics 610

Quantum Field Theory I

This is the course page for the first semester of graduate Quantum Field Theory at McGill University. (I am well aware that this webpage is Web 1.0, but I don't care; the idea is to have a repository for some information and files, not to be beautiful or fun.)

Meeting time and place: 4:00PM to 5:30PM Monday/Wednesday, Rutherford Physics room 114

My contact information is:

Associate Professor Guy D. Moore
Rutherford Physics Room 313
Phone: (514-398-)4345
e-mail: guymoore at
Office hours: whenever you catch me

The Course Syllabus is available here.

The course will follow the textbook Quantum Field Theory by Mark Srednicki. My goal is to cover chapters 1-14, 22, 33-48, 54-59, and then as much of the skipped-over chapters as we can.


Homeworks will be assigned every 1-2 weeks and will typically be due 1 to 2 weeks after they are assigned, depending on my estimation of the difficulty of the homework. Solution sets will be available within days of the due date of the homework. All assignments and solution keys will be posted here.

Late homeworks will be accepted by pre-arrangement, with good reason, or within 2 days at a 25% reduction of the grade. I cannot accept homeworks after the solutions are posted.

The course grade will be based entirely on the homeworks. You can work with each other and ask each other questions; you can also ask me questions, and I encourage you to corner me, especially as a group if you find you have a question you are all confused about.


Various Notes

I once made a Quick lookup sheet of commonly needed equations, which I find useful.

Notes (another book!) on Lehmann-Kallen form of the propagator and on LSZ reduction formula

Lecture topics

Here is a table showing the schedule for the term. It is a little ambitious, so it is likely slip, in which case it will be updated as we go. (Yes it hops around within the book, but the book is designed to allow for this.)

Please do the readings BEFORE class meets.

Date Lecture topic Reading
5 September What Is QFT? Chapter 1
10 September Lorentz symmetry, representations Chapter 2, 33
12 September Finish Lorentz Chapter 33
17 September Free Field Theory Chapter 3
19 September Lehmann representation Chapter 13 and these notes
24 September LSZ reduction, cross-section Chapter 5, 11, these notes
26 September Path Integrals I Rest of Chapter 6,7
1 October Path Integrals II Chapter 8,9
3 October Amplitudes, Feynman rules Chapter 10
8 October Thanksgiving! None
10 October Loop-level, exact propagator Chapters 12-15
15 October Continuous symmetries Chapter 22
17 October Spinor fields Chapter 34
22 October Spinors II Chapter 35,36
24 October Spinors III Chapter 36,37
29 October Spinors IV Chapter 38,39
31 October SLZ, propagator again Chapter 41,42
5 November Fermionic path integral Chapter 43,44
7 November Fermionic path integral Chapter 43,44
12 November Fermionic Feynman rules Chapter 45,49
14 November Scattering in Yukawa theory Chapter 46-48
19 November Mandelstam variables, Dirac traces Chapter 11,46-48
21 November Loop counting, divergent subgraphs Chapter 12-14
26 November Handling divergences in loops Chapter 16, 17,18
28 November Renormalization, particle widths Chapter 14,15,25
3 December Gauge theory, QED Chapters 54-57
5 December QED, external photons Chapter 56-59

For those of you who would like additional or alternative textbooks, I will make a few recommendations. Shop around for prices, I just gave links to show you exactly what book I meant.

Peskin and Schroder is a standard in the field. The metric choice is different, so is the emphasis. It's good to have especially if you intend to do phenomenology or QCD.

Ryder's book is a slightly less advanced text which many people like but which I don't know well myself.

Zinn-Justin is the bible of Quantum Field Theory but is much more formal than I intend to be in our class. Buy it if you intend to take Quantum Field Theory really seriously but not if you are on a tight budget.

Steven Weinberg's book is a place to go if you want everything spelled out in complete detail, but not if you want clear expository explanations. It is a reference, not really a textbook.

(last updated 7 Aug 2012)