FYS9120 - Advanced quantum field theory

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The main aim of this course is to achieve a modern understanding of quantum field theory, with special emphasis on the principles underlying the Standard model of particle physics. This includes the importance and interpretation of regularization and renormalization, the geometric structure of gauge theories and functional quantization. The structure of the ground state (the vacuum in particle physics), including its symmetry breaking and excitations (particles), are derived directly from the generating functional (partition function) by using “thermodynamic potentials” borrowed from statistical mechanics. The vacuum structure of abelian (QED) and non-abelian (QCD) gauge theories is analyzed using dimensional regularization. The energy, electrical permittivity and magnetic permeability of empty space explain why the coupling constants (charges) are not constant, and why the magnetic moment of the electron is not given by Dirac’s theory.

Other key words are: path integrals, correlation functions, Wick rotation, Feynman rules, Grassmann calculus, functional determinants, renormalization group, Callan-Symanzik equation, beta-functions, anomalous dimensions, asymptotic freedom, electroweak theory, Goldstone’s theorem, group theory, Higgs mechanism and mixing angles.

Learning outcome

The students will be introduced to advanced methods in quantum field theory. Theoretical aspects are more emphasised than applications.

Admission

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Prerequisites

Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway, you must either have 2MX/2MY/3MZ and 3MX/3FY/3KJ/3BI/(2KJ+3BT)/(2BI+3BT) from Norwegian upper secondary school, or have completed equivalent studies in mathematics as well as physics, or chemistry, or biology at upper secondary school or university level at another educational institution. Read more about fulfilling special requirements.

Recommended previous knowledge

FYS4170 - Relativistic quantum field theory. FYS4560 - Elementary particle physics might be advantageous.

Overlapping courses

10 credits with FYS5120 - Advanced quantum field theory

Teaching

The course extends over a full semester with 4-6 hours of lectures and colloquia per week.

Examination

Oral exam.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Evaluation

The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Level

PhD

Teaching

If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.

Examination

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)