Can anyone give me references where I would see a detailed exposition of how to translate gauge field theory as known to physicists into the language of connections. I am looking for a detailed exposition on the mathematical formulation of Yang-Mills field theory. Something which might also give an exposition about Chern-Simons theory and the related whole bag of what get called "topological actions"
I had read a nice long discussion on the geometrical formulation of gauge field theory in a post at Terence Tao's blog namely this article and also probably something on Secret Blogging Seminar (but I can't locate that link)
Along similar lines I had seen a very old book by Atiyah and Hitchin on this.
I would like to know what books/expository papers on this are read by graduate students today when they try entering this field?
Also advanced references on the topic would also be helpful.