* Which problems do arise within relativistic enhancements of the Schroedinger theory, especially if one adheres to the usual one-particle interpretation?
* To what extent can these problems be overcome?
* What is the physical necessity of quantum field theories?
In many textbooks, only insufficient answers to these fundamental questions are provided by treating the relativistic quantum mechanical one-particle concept very superficially and instead introducing field quantization as soon as possible. By contrast, this book emphasizes particularly this point of view (relativistic quantum mechanics in the ''narrow sense''): it extensively discusses the relativistic one-particle view and reveals its problems and limitations, therefore illustrating the necessity of quantized fields in a physically comprehensible way.
The first two chapters contain a detailed presentation and comparison of the Klein-Gordon and Dirac theory, always with a view to the non-relativistic theory. In the third chapter, we consider relativistic scattering processes and develop the Feynman rules from propagator techniques. This is where the indispensability of quantum field theory reasoning becomes apparent and basic quantum field theory concepts are introduced.
This textbook addresses undergraduate and graduate Physics students who are interested in a clearly arranged and structured presentation of relativistic quantum mechanics in the "narrow sense" and its connection to quantum field theories. Each section contains a short summary and exercises with solutions. A mathematical appendix rounds out this excellent textbook on relativistic quantum mechanics.
Armin Wachter holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC) / research Centre of Julich, Germany. His research interests include theoretical elementary particle physics, heavy quark physics, heavy meson spectroscopy, algorithms on parallel computers, and lattice gauge theory. His publications at Springer include: Repetitorium Theoretische Physik, ISBN 3-540-21457-7 Compendium of Theoretical Physics, ISBN 0-387-25799-3 Relativistische Quantenmechanik, ISBN 3-540-22922-1