FYS9170 – Relativistic Quantum Field Theory

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 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

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.

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

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.

In addition, it is mandatory to prepare and give a one-hour lecture about an advanced topic in quantum field theory. This mandatory lecture must be approved before you can sit the final exam.


The mandatory lecture must be approved before you can take the final examination.

  • Written midterm exam (4 hours), 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: FYS4170 – 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 pass/fail scale. 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) Oct. 19, 2020 6:11:49 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