H${}$i all. Please, have a look at What is a complete book for quantum field theory?. The post is a standard request. In fact, it is the canonical post when it comes to QFT books. Weird that it is closed, specially when it is not opinion-based. At least, not more than any other post.

Note that when someone asks about QFT recommendations nowadays, the post is always closed as a duplicate of that post above. Yet, the latter post is closed, which doesn't make much sense to me. People cannot ask for recommendations, and people cannot post new recommendations.

It's been suggested in the comment section that the post is not really POB, but that it is a duplicate (of what?) and/or too broad. I don't really agree with it being neither. For one thing, there are canonical res.rec. about all major branches of physics (Newtonian mechanics, Electrodynamics, Optics, etc.) and they are all open, except for the one about QFT.

I voted to reopen this post a couple of times, and the post left the reopen queue with a couple of reopen votes, but it was never reopened. Surely there must be something that I am missing here. Can we please discuss this here? Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ For the record, here are the reopen reviews for that post: physics.stackexchange.com/review/reopen/181909, physics.stackexchange.com/review/reopen/196498, physics.stackexchange.com/review/reopen/201261. Also, the original closure had 3 POB and two duplicate votes, both duplicate votes as a duplicate of physics.stackexchange.com/q/12175/50583, the original close review is at physics.stackexchange.com/review/close/97077 $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Jan 3, 2018 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ Being the lone voice (on record) for "too broad", what bugs me is the "complete book" part. What does that even mean? is it really necessary? How does that square with the other threads you mention? More importantly, can you link to the mechanics/EM/optics threads you mention? $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2018 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty Out of the 71 posts in Book recommendations, only 4 are closed. Two of them are about QFT (in particular, the post we are discussing here), another is about astronomy and the last one is about "books every layman should read". The rest are all open. Optics, Mechanics, EM, Cosmology, Fluid dynamics, etc. At least half of them are just as broad as the QFT one. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2018 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ I don't fully understand the argument. Being a recommendations question is not a guarantee of on-topic-ness (there are 440+ closed questions with the tag) and I don't understand why being listed in the ages-old list would be the same. I agree that a general QFT res-recomm would be within scope; I (personally) still don't like the "complete and comprehensive" book but I wouldn't strongly disagree to reopening. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2018 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty You were asking for examples of canonical res.rec. post that are open. The posts in that list are, to some extent, precisely that. In any case, I guess we mostly agree here. The phrasing in the QFT post is far from ideal; but, if we are going to have a canonical res.rec. post on QFT, it makes sense that we choose that one. It is the one with the most upvotes, the most generic one, and the one we've been linking duplicates to for years. I don't think we'll find a better one, even if the post is somewhat vague. I could make some slight edits to make it better if that helps. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2018 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform I don't see why that post can't be edited into a form that doesn't try to over-scope itself while keeping the existing answers on-topic, and forming a suitable duplicate target for the existing closed dupes. It is CW after all. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2018 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ I substantially edited the question to specify a complete book for the "standard" QFT curriculum, at least in the United States, which I think is perfectly well-defined and not too broad. I also added a reopen vote. $\endgroup$
    – knzhou
    Jan 16, 2018 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ And now it's reopened! Hurray! $\endgroup$
    – knzhou
    Jan 18, 2018 at 10:04


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