A Unified Grand Tour of Theoretical Physics invites its readers to a guided exploration of the theoretical ideas that shape our contemporary understanding of the physical world at the fundamental level.
Its central themes, comprising space-time geometry and the general relativistic account of gravity, quantum field theory and the gauge theories of fundamental forces, and statistical mechanics and the theory of phase transitions, are developed in explicit mathematical detail, with an emphasis on conceptual understanding.
Straightforward treatments of the standard models of particle physics and cosmology are supplemented with introductory accounts of more speculative theories, including supersymmetry and string theory. This third edition of the Tour includes a new chapter on quantum gravity, focusing on the approach known as Loop Quantum Gravity, while new sections provide extended discussions of topics that have become prominent in recent years, such as the Higgs boson, massive neutrinos, cosmological perturbations, dark energy and matter, and the thermodynamics of black holes. Designed for those in search of a solid grasp of the inner workings of these theories, but who prefer to avoid a full-scale assault on the research literature, the Tour assumes as its point of departure a familiarity with basic undergraduate-level physics, and emphasizes the interconnections between aspects of physics that are more often treated in isolation. The companion website at www.unifiedgrandtours.org provides further resources, including a comprehensive manual of solutions to the end-of-chapter exercises.