For quite some time, I’ve been looking for a good introductory text on the Standard Model, something accessible to advanced undergrads or beginning grad students to bridge the gap between typical undergrad Modern Physics texts and the more advanced texts on the subject typically employed in grad school.

My search has ended: Introduction to Elementary Particles by David Griffiths (Wiley-VCH, 2008) is precisely what I’ve been looking for.

I’m only one chapter into this book, and already it has answered several outstanding questions I’ve long held, such as how neutrinos and anti-neutrinos are experimentally distinguished, as well as the three flavors of neutrinos. Just enough historial depth is provided (complete with references to the original papers, which I always like to see) to see how the Standard Model has evolved over time, coupled with clear and easy to grasp technical content.

I’ll be providing a much more in-depth review of this book once I have finished it, but for now, I am quite content with my purchase and excited about going through the rest of this book. That may take a while, though, as I’m currently planning to read each chapter twice (taking detailed notes on the second round) as well as working through the problem sets. (There is a free solutions guide available from the publisher; but, alas, it is only available to instructors teaching a course using this text.)


About Glen Mark Martin

MCSE-Messaging. Exchange Administrator at the University of Texas at Austin. Unrepentant armchair physicist.
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