Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

PX445 Advanced Particle Physics

Lecturer: Tim Gershon
Weighting: 15 CATS

To present the theoretical framework that underpins the Standard Model of particle physics, and to use it to make calculations of basic fundamental particle interactions.

Students will:

  • understand how the quarks and leptons, and the bosons that mediate their interactions, can be described by local gauge theories
  • be able to calculate some lowest order processes in Quantum Electrodynamics
  • know how the Feynman Rules need to be extended in order to successfully account for the 
characteristics of the Strong and Weak interactions
  • appreciate how the Electroweak formalism successfully describes the results of experiments at high energies and how the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking (and the Higgs Mechanism) can account for massive gauge fields
  • know the limitations and inadequacies of the Standard Model and where progress is thought likely to come.

1. Introduction
Solutions to the Dirac equation, gauge theories, the role of symmetry and group theory.
2. The Feynman Rules
Particles with spin and calculations of some lowest order processes in quantum
electrodynamics. Extensions to account for the characteristics of the strong and weak
3. The Electroweak Interaction
Advanced topics in weak interaction. Unification of electromagnetism and the weak
interaction to give a predictive quantum field theory of the weak interaction at high
energies – the electroweak interaction.
4. Beyond the Standard Model (SM)
The inadequacies of the SM. Unifications of the fundamental forces. Extensions to the

Commitment: 30 lectures

Assessment: 2 hour examination

The module has a website.

Recommended Texts:
Introduction to Elementary Particles, David Griffiths, Wiley; Modern Elementary Particle
Physics, Gordon Kane, Addison Wesley; Quarks and Leptons, F. Halzen, A.D. Martin, Wiley; Gauge Theories in Particle Physics, I.J.R. Aitchison, A.J.G. Hey, Taylor and Francis (3rd Edition).