This book is a first course for advanced students dedicated to some of the most important ideas in physics (i.e., symmetry and its breaking and topology), which have produced a lot of fundamental discoveries in physics, including in optics.
The book is divided into four parts. The first part deals with group symmetries and algebras, where the most important groups, such as Lie, Lorentz and rotation, are introduced. The second part is dedicated to broken symmetries and their applications, such as the Higgs mechanism, standard model and quantum phase transitions. The book's third part is dedicated to topology and applications, such as the geometric phases and quantum Hall effect. The last part of the book focuses on various applications such as superconductivity, superfluidity or grand unified theories.
The book has more than 600 pages and is very clearly written. Many examples are given, more than 300 problems and solutions are provided and further readings are indicated at the end of each chapter. This book is a must for any university library and is dedicated to anyone who wants to understand the many achievements of modern physics.
Review by Mircea Dragoman, National Research and Development Institute in Microtechnology, Romania.
The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or its publisher, Optica (formerly OSA).