FYS5120 – Advanced Quantum Field Theory

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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

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 to the course

Studenter må hvert semester søke og få plass på undervisningen og melde seg til eksamen i Studentweb.

Dersom du ikke allerede har studieplass ved UiO, kan du søke opptak til våre studieprogrammer, eller søke om å bli enkeltemnestudent.

FYS4170 – Relativistic Quantum Field Theory. FYS4560 – Elementary particle physics (discontinued) might be advantageous.

Overlapping courses


The spring of 2020 it will only be given as a self-study course with some instructions.


Project assignment to be handed in on topic agreed upon with lecturer (40%). Final oral exam (60%).

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: FYS9120 – Advanced Quantum Field Theory

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) July 12, 2020 3:12:13 PM

Facts about this course


The spring of 2020 it will only be given as a self-study course with some instructions.

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
Norwegian (English on request)