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Classical Field Theory and the Stress-Energy Tensor (Second Edition)

Mark S Swanson


Classical Field Theory and the Stress-Energy Tensor (Second Edition) is an introduction to classical field theory and the mathematics required to formulate and analyze it. The development of the mathematical formalism, previously in an appendix, is integrated into the presentation of the physical concepts. The book develops the core concepts of field theory by applying Newtonian physics to the stretched string, emphasizing the relationship between fields and the observer's coordinate systems and using basic concepts of differential geometry and functional techniques. This collection of insights should be invaluable to both the student, instructor, and active researcher since it presents a unified view of field theories without the added complication of quantization.

Key Features

  • A logical and thorough development of both the mathematics and physics of classical fields
  • A unified theme based on the relationship of fields, coordinate transformations, and the stress-energy tensor
  • Applications to a wide set of areas and phenomena where classical field theory yields important physical insights
  • An accessible introduction for the student and a useful reference for the researcher
  • A significant number of worked examples will be added to each chapter of the new edition. These will be combined with a set of problems with suggestions to the reader how to approach solving them and whose answers will be provided.

About Editors

Mark Swanson received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1976 under the supervision of Justin Huang. After postdoctoral appointments at the University of Alberta and the University of Connecticut he held a faculty appointment at the University of Connecticut at Stamford from 1983 to 2014, during which time he spent six years in university administrative roles. He is the author of 25 research articles and four monographs, with an emphasis on field theory and path integral techniques. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Connecticut and lives in Monroe, Connecticut.

Table of Contents


Author Biography


1. Geometry and Physics

2. Newtonian Mechanics and Functional Methods

3. Basic Field Theory

4. Newtonian Fluid Dynamics

5. Galilean Covariant Complex Fields

6. Basic Special Relativity

7. Linear Algebra and Group Theory  

8. Scalar and Spinor Field Theories

9. Classical Relativistic Electrodynamics

10. General Relativity and Gravitation

11. Yang–Mills Fields and Connections


Hardback ISBN: 9780750334532

Ebook ISBN: 9780750334556

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-3455-6

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


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