FYS4170 – Relativistic Quantum Field Theory

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to quantum field theory as one of the cornerstones of modern physics, and how it inevitably emerges from combining quantum mechanics with special relativity. The focus is on how to quantize both bosonic and fermionic fields, and how a relatively small number of fundamental symmetry principles leads to the construction of the standard model of particle physics.

Learning outcome

After completing this course:

  • you can quantize classical fields and will know how to describe both fermionic and bosonic particles in relativistic quantum mechanics
  • you have learned how to construct theories that describe interacting quantum fields
  • you know how to derive the Feynman rules for a given theory, and how to use those to calculate cross sections and decay rates at lowest order in perturbation theory
  • you can explain how gauge symmetries lead to the construction of both Abelian and non-Abelian theories and understand the concept of spontaneously breaking these symmetries (Higgs mechanism)
  • you understand the structure of the standard model of particle physics and can relate its ingredients to the underlying fundamental principles
  • you have learned to present the fundamental principles of quantum field theory, and solutions to typical problems, in a clear and pedagogic way to fellow students

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

It is highly recommended that you have previous knowledge from the following courses:

In addition, we recommend:

Overlapping courses


The course extends over a whole term, with 4 hours of lectures and 2 hours of group exercises class per week.

An essential part of the course are problems, about one set per week, which the students prepare at home and present during the group exercises.


  • Written midterm exam (4 hrs), which counts 50% towards the final grade
  • Final oral exam, which counts 50% towards the final grade

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: FYS9170 – Relativistic Quantum Field Theory

Examination support material

Two A4 sheets with notes. You can write on both sides of the sheet.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Sep. 27, 2020 3:11:23 PM

Facts about this course


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.

Teaching language