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Course Code : | 2000WETEWI |

Study domain: | Physics |

Academic year: | 2020-2021 |

Semester: | 2nd semester |

Contact hours: | 60 |

Credits: | 6 |

Study load (hours): | 168 |

Contract restrictions: | No contract restriction |

Language of instruction: | English |

Exam period: | exam in the 2nd semester |

Lecturer(s) | Alexander Sevrin |

At the start of this course the student should have acquired the following competences:

an active knowledge of

specific prerequisites for this course

an active knowledge of

- English

As this is an advanced master level course also followed by interested physicists of non-Belgian origin, the default language for the course is English (all the suggested books are in English anyway). If all the people registered for the course are native Dutch speakers then of course the teaching will be done in Dutch. For the exam the students (individually) can choose between Dutch and English.

- general knowledge of the use of a PC and the Internet

specific prerequisites for this course

- A reasonable understanding of relativistic quantum field theory, in particular quantum electro dynamics is needed. As a guideline the student should master the material covered in the first eight chapters of “Quantum Field Theory” by F. Mandl and G. Shaw (or equivalent).
- A knowledge of elementary particle physics at a bachelor level is assumed as well.

During the first lecture the background of the attending students will be probed and if necessary missing knowledge will be introduced (either in the course itself or by pointers to the literature).

- This course aims at acquiring a microscopic insight in how elementary particles interact through the electroweak and the strong force. The course is set up in such a way that upon finishing the course the student is able to follow the most recent research results in the field.
- During the course the student gets in touch with recent scientific results in the form of publications and presentations. Extensive attention is being paid to the methodology which resulted in the Standard Model.
- The exercises and the final paper train the student in modeling complex phenomena and analytically study them.

One of the greatest achievements of physics in the twentieth century is the fact that all forces in nature – how diverse they might appear – have been reduced to four fundamental interactions: the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. By now we have an excellent and quantum mechanical consistent understanding of three of the four forces. The electromagnetic, the weak and the strong force are described by the so called “Standard Model of elementary particle physics”.

This course aims at acquiring a microscopic understanding of the electroweak and the strong force through their description in terms of spontaneously broken (non-)abelian gauge theories. The student will acquire both qualitative and quantitative insight in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. At the end of the course the student should have a good understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the current experimental results in high energy physics.

- Introduction: a careful look at weak interactions...
- Chiral interactions
- Non-abelian gauge theories
- The Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism
- The electroweak interactions as a spontanously broken, chiral SU(2)xU(1) gauge theory
- The strong force as an SU(3) gauge theory
- Masses and the CKM matrix, CP violation
- Majorana and Dirac masses, masses for neutrinos, see-saw mechanism, neutrino oscillations
- Introduction to regularization and renormalization, the running of coupling constants
- Introduction to grand unified theories (including an introduction to Lie groups, Lie algebras and their finite dimensional unitary representations)
- Introduction to supersymmetry

The course has an international dimension.

This course brings the students to the forefront of current knowledge in theoretical high energy physics. In fact the course is never more than 24 hours behind current scientic understanding. As a consequence the student will be continously confronted with the latest insights acquired by scientific collaborations from all over the world.

Class contact teachingLectures

Personal workExercises Assignments Individually Assignments In group Paper Individually

Personal work

ExaminationOral with written preparation Open book

Continuous assessmentExercises Assignments

Written assignmentWithout oral presentation

Continuous assessment

Written assignment

The first part of the course uses the book "Quantum Field Theory" by F. Mandl and G. Shaw (second edition, Wiley, 2010; ISBN-10: 0471496847; ISBN-13: 978-0471496847). For the second part - which gathers information from numerous text books and scientific papers - the lecturer will provide - where needed - pointers to the appropriate literature.

The following study material can be studied voluntarily :

For students who intend to continue in theoretical physics, a good in-depth knowledge of quantum field theory is unavoidable. The standard work on QFT is "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" by M.E. Pesskin and D.V. Schroeder (Westview Press; ISBN-10: 0201503972, ISBN-13: 978-0201503975).

Another great book on quantum field theory with its roots deeply in elementary particle physics is "Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model" by Matthew D. Schwartz (Cambridge; ISBN-10: 1107034736, ISBN-13: 978-1107034730).

Whenever there are problems the students can contact the responsible for the course Prof. Dr. Alexandre Sevrin by email at Alexandre.Sevrin@vub.ac.be .