© 2019

Particles, Fields and Forces

A Conceptual Guide to Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model


  • Provides a complete conceptual explanation of Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model

  • For those who want to deeply understand the theory without delving into the detailed mathematics

  • Delivers many surprising insights

  • Richly illustrated with helpful diagrams


Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 1-2
  3. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 3-16
  4. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 17-24
  5. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 25-35
  6. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 37-43
  7. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 45-63
  8. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 65-71
  9. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 73-85
  10. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 87-112
  11. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 113-143
  12. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 145-154
  13. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 155-188
  14. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 189-191
  15. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 193-200
  16. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 201-217
  17. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 255-289
  18. Wouter Schmitz
    Pages 291-299
  19. Back Matter
    Pages 301-321

About this book


How can fundamental particles exist as waves in the vacuum? How can such waves have particle properties such as inertia? What is behind the notion of “virtual” particles? Why and how do particles exert forces on one another? Not least: What are forces anyway? These are some of the central questions that have intriguing answers in Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Unfortunately, these theories are highly mathematical, so that most people - even many scientists - are not able to fully grasp their meaning. This book unravels these theories in a conceptual manner, using more than 180 figures and extensive explanations and will provide the nonspecialist with great insights that are not to be found in the popular science literature.


Understanding the standard model Quantum field theory explained Conceptual quantum field theory Forces in physics Quantum physics explained Particle physics explained What are particles? Wave particle duality What are virtual particles? QFT made easy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.AmsterdamThe Netherlands

About the authors

Wouter J.M. Schmitz, born 1970, studied physics in Amsterdam. He worked at CERN for an assignment at the Spin Muon Collaboration (SMC) and later as a summer student at a LEP experiment. He graduated at Nikhef Amsterdam in 1994. He has subsequently worked in IT and also holds an MBA degree. Today, Wouter works as a leading digital architect, retaining nonetheless a deep and informed interest in conceptual problems in physics.


Bibliographic information


“I know of know of no other book than the present volume by Wouter Schmitz that presents all these topics in one connected story, using a bare minimum of mathematical notation and certainly no calculus. … The non-specialist who perseveres will be rewarded with a surprisingly complete overview of particle physics … . The author is to be applauded for his ambitious goals in writing this book, and in successfully providing relatively informal accounts of a remarkable amount of material.” (Peter J. Bussey, Contemporary Physics, September 23, 2019)

“This book offers a world of insight into the building blocks of our universe and the forces which govern them. … Overall a very useful introductory book for particle physicists.” (T. C. Mohan, zbMATH 1422.81007, 2019)