|Loop groups are the simplest class of infinite dimensional Lie groups, and have important applications in elementary particle physics. They have recently been studied intensively, and the theory is now well developed, involving ideas from several areas of mathematics - algebra, geometry, analysis, and combinatorics. The mathematics of quantum field theory is an important ingredient. This book gives a complete and self-contained account of what is known about the subject and it is written from a geometrical and analytical point of view, with quantum field theory very much in mind. The mathematics used in connection with loop groups is interesting and important beyond its immediate applications and the authors have tried to make the book accessible to mathematicians in many fields. The hardback edition was published in December 1986.