PHYS 4490

Relativistic Quantum Fields and Particles
Spring 2021

Professor Nikolaos Kidonakis
Office: SC437
Phone: (470) 578-6607

Lectures: MW 3:30-4:45 pm, online via Collaborate Ultra in D2L

Textbook: A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Michele Maggiore

Course description
PHYS 4490. Relativistic Quantum Fields and Particles. 3-0-3.
Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in PHYS 3710
This special topics course is an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, elementary particle physics, and gauge theory. Students will learn how the combination of the two revolutionary physics theories of the first half of the 20th century, relativity and quantum mechanics, leads us to the concept of quantum fields and the description of the fundamental forces and particles in the universe. Students will see how electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear interactions, and even gravity, can be described in a unified way as gauge theories.

Learning outcomes
1. Learn how to derive relativistic Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations.
2. Learn how to use gauge symmetries to derive conservation laws in physics.
3. Analyze the quantization of scalar, vector, and spinor fields.
4. Use perturbation theory in elementary particle interactions.
5. Describe fundamental interactions in nature in terms of unitary groups.

Homework 15%
Tests 60% (3 tests, 20% each)
Final Exam 25%

Grades: A >90%; B 80%-90%; C 70%-80%; D 60%-70%; F <60%

Last day to withdraw without academic penalty is March 15.

Tentative Schedule

Jan 11-13
Relativistic kinematics; Klein-Gordon equation

Jan 20
Dirac Equation; antiparticles

Jan 25-27
Lagrangian formulation for particles and fields; Noether's theorem; quantization of scalar fields

Feb 1-3
Test 1
Quantization of spinor fields; local gauge invariance

Feb 8-10
Quantization of gauge fields

Feb 15-17
Perturbation theory

Feb 22-24
Feynman diagrams

March 1-3
Test 2
Ultraviolet and Infrared divergences; Dimensional Regularization

March 8-10
Spring break; no classes

March 15-17

March 22-24
Cross sections

March 29-31
Non-abelian gauge theories

April 5-7
Test 3
SU(2) and Electroweak theory

April 12-14
SU(3) and Quantum Chromodynamics; Asymptotic freedom

April 19-21
Spontaneous symmetry breaking; Higgs mechanism

April 26-28
The Standard Model of Particle Physics

May 3

Final Exam  Monday, May 10, 3:30-5:30 pm

Exams Policy
Please note that any mobile device that transmits a signal is not permitted to be used in an exam. All mobile devices should be deactivated during exams. Final exam make-up is only for documented and excused emergencies or for scheduling conflicts with other final exams.

Academic Integrity
Every KSU student is responsible for upholding the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, as published in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. The Student Code of Conduct addresses the University's policy on academic honesty, including provisions regarding plagiarism and cheating, unauthorized access to University materials, misrepresentation/falsification of University records or academic work, malicious/intentional misuse of computer facilities and/or services, and misuse of student identification cards. Incidents of alleged academic misconduct will be handled through the established procedures of the University.

Attendance & Participation
Students are expected to attend all lectures, take all tests and exams, and complete all homework assignments.

This is a Synchronous Online course. You are expected to attend scheduled synchronous online sessions and must have the requisite technology and bandwidth to do so. You should also expect a fair number of asynchronous components to the course delivered through the Desire2Learn platform in addition to the synchronous online sessions. You are expected to be prepared for online delivery including arranging access to stable internet capable of handling streaming video demands and a computer with (internal or external) functioning webcam with microphone.