FYS9170 – Relativistic Quantum Field Theory

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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 having taken this course:

  • you can quantize classical fields, and 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 bothAbelian 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


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

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

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FYS4170 – Relativistic Quantum Field Theory


The course extends over a whole term, with up to 6 hours in class per week (lectures and group exercises). A central ingredient of the course are problem sets, about one per week, which the students prepare at home and present during the group exercises. In addition, the student has to give a one hour's lecture about an advanced topic in quantum field theory.


Final oral or written (4 hours) exam, counts for 100% of the grade. Oral or written exam will be decided after the sign-up deadline and depends on how many students have registered for the exam.

Examination support material

Two A4 sheets with notes (you can write in both sides of the sheet)

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

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.


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






Every autumn

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.


Every autumn

Teaching language