Have I mentioned that Quantum Field Theory is kicking my butt? And the more I don't understand what he's talking about in class, the more discouraged and depressed I become about the whole thing, the less motivated I am to do the work I really need to do to keep up.
I have two main problems here. The first is the math. I'm completely lost by his notation, at this point. P's and P-slashes and a gagillion different gammas. I haven't got a clue what any of these symbols mean any more. Some of them are tensors (and incidentally, nobody has every formally taught me anything about tensors, beyond the ordinary matrix kind) and some of them are functions and some of them are operators, which might mean matrices or differentials or... Who knows. Sound hard? That's cause it is. But it really doesn't need to be. You can't convince me that there aren't clearer, unambiguous ways to write this stuff. You could start by actually writing all of it down, for instance, and not just assuming that there are greek indices "implied" or that we all know the expression you just wrote is supposed to be divided by 2m. You could write the steps that get you from one line to the next, instead of saying "I hope you're all filling these missing steps in." You could refrain from throwing terms out that we've never heard, in the service of some hideously complicated by irrelevant criticism you have of the someone else's work on the theory... (Although it is reassuring, somehow, that our professor knows the people who developed the theories we're learning now. We're starting to catch up. At least it's 1960s physics that's kicking my butt now, and not 1760s...)
And you could interpret things. That's my biggest wish. Just tell me what this is a model of. Tell me what these waves are supposed to represent. Tell me what the numbers I put in here measure. This is supposed to be our best description of the physical world, and we've lost contact with the physical world altogether.
I'm starting to develop my own interpretations, which I might post here, with lots of disclaimers, if I can word them a little better. I believe that anything which can't be put into layman's terms isn't real science. It has to answer questions that are independent of its formalism -- laymen's questions. So I want to make an effort, but I'm warning you now, I don't know what I'm talking about...
Quantum Field Theory is kicking my butt. Now I have to go to class.