Relativistic Quantum Fields and Particles
Professor Nikolaos Kidonakis
Phone: (470) 578-6607
Lectures: TTH 2:00-3:15 pm, Academic Bldg 250
Textbook: A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Michele Maggiore
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.
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.
Tests 45% (3 tests, 15% 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. Last day to withdraw with a WF is April 25.
Relativistic kinematics; Klein-Gordon equation
Dirac Equation; antiparticles
Lagrangian formulation for particles and fields; Noether's theorem;
canonical quantization of scalar fields
Test 1; Quantization of spinor fields; local gauge invariance
Quantization of gauge fields
Feynman diagrams; Quantum Electrodynamics
Test 2; Cross sections
Spring break; no classes
Ultraviolet and infrared divergences; dimensional regularization
Test 3; Non-abelian gauge theories; SU(2) and Electroweak theory
Spontaneous symmetry breaking; Higgs mechanism
SU(3) and Quantum Chromodynamics
QCD and asymptotic freedom; soft gluons
Final Exam Tuesday, May 10, 1:00-3:00 pm
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