What We Are Reading Today: Quantization of Gauge Systems

What We Are Reading Today: Quantization of Gauge Systems
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Updated 23 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Quantization of Gauge Systems

What We Are Reading Today: Quantization of Gauge Systems

Edited by Marc Henneaux and Claudio Teitelboim

This book is a systematic study of the classical and quantum theories of gauge systems. It starts with Dirac’s analysis showing that gauge theories are constrained Hamiltonian systems. The classical foundations of BRST theory are then laid out with a review of the necessary concepts from homological algebra. 

Reducible gauge systems are discussed, and the relationship between BRST cohomology and gauge invariance is carefully explained. 

The authors then proceed to the canonical quantization of gauge systems, first without ghosts (reduced phase space quantization, Dirac method) and second in the BRST context (quantum BRST cohomology). 

The path integral is discussed next. The analysis covers indefinite metric systems, operator insertions, and Ward identities. The antifield formalism is also studied
and its equivalence with canonical methods is derived. The examples of electromagnetism and abelian 2-form gauge fields are treated in detail.

The book gives a general and unified treatment of the subject in a self-contained manner. Exercises are provided at the end of each chapter, and pedagogical examples are covered in the text.


What We Are Reading Today: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

What We Are Reading Today: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Updated 19 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

What We Are Reading Today: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true? While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed. 

You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song — Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout.”

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.