This book discusses the classical foundations of field theory, using the language of variational methods and covariance. It explores the limits of what can be achieved with purely classical notions, and shows how these classical notions have a deep and important connection with the second quantized field theory, which follows on from the Schwinger Action Principle. Its pragmatic view of field theory focuses on issues which are usually omitted from quantum field theory texts and catalogs results which are often hard to find in the literature.
"There are two features which make this book a really unique source on this subject. It is very detailed. It seems that nothing has escaped the author's attention. Also, this book is very explicit. All notation and conventions are carefully introduced. In many cases, more abstract formulae are accompanied by their component forms. These two features make this book very convenient to use in research and teaching. I greatly recommend this book as a supplementary text for courses on field theory, group theory, dynamical systems, and particle physics." Mathematical Reviews
From The Critics
Burgess (theoretical physics, Oslo U. College) compiles notes and unpublished results he has accumulated on classical field theory into a reference for himself and other researchers and graduate students. He presents general theory accompanied by specific examples, separates logically independent ideas, and uses a consistent notation. Among hit topics are the action principle, statistical interpretation of the field, spacetime transformations, unified kinematics and dynamics, and the real Klein-Gordon field (but also the complex version). He appends useful formulae and a list of recommended reading. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mark Burgess obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1990. He held a Royal Society fellowship at the University of Oslo from 1991 to 1992 and then had a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Norwegian Research Council. Since 1994 he has been an associate professor at Oslo University College. Dr Burgess has been invited to lecture at universities and institutes throughout the world, and has published numerous articles, as well as five previous books.
Foreword; Part I. Fields: 1. Introduction; 2. The electromagnetic field; 3. Field parameters; 4. The action principle; 5. Classical field dynamics; 6. Statistical interpretation of the field; 7. Examples and applications; Part II. Groups and Fields: 8. Field transformations; 9. Spacetime transformations; 10. Kinematical and dynamical transformations; 11. Position and momentum; 12. Charge and current; 13. The non-relativistic limit; 14. Unified kinematics and dynamics; 15. Epilogue: quantum field theory; Part III. Reference: A Compendium of Fields: 16. Gallery of definitions; 17. The Schrödinger field; 18. The real Klein Gordon field; 19. The complex Klein Gordon field; 20. The Dirac field; 21. The Maxwell radiation field; 22. The massive Proca field; 23. Non-Abelian fields; 24. Chern-Simons theories; 25. Gravity as a field theory; Part IV. Appendices.