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Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

Convenor: Dr Tom Blake

Module Code: PP2

Duration (Hours): 10 hourly sessions

Start date and Commitments

Start: 5/10/2020

10 lectures on Mo 11-12, Wed 11-12

Module Details

The module aims to provide an introduction to the calculation of scattering amplitudes in High Energy Physics. It is intended for particle physics Ph. D. students. At the end of the module students should: have an appreciation for the nature of relativistic quantum mechanics; have an understanding of the Dirac equation and its significance; and understand how to calculate decay rates and cross-sections for simple scattering processes.

Course Syllabus:

Lecture 1: Special Relativity and Lorentz Invariance

Lecture 2: Examples of Lorentz Invariance: Maxwell and Klein Gordon Equations

Lecture 3: Perturbation Theory for Particle Scattering

Lecture 4: Coulomb Scattering of Charged Spin-0 Particles

Lecture 5: Invariant Amplitudes, Feynman Diagrams and Cross-Sections

Lecture 6: Calculating Cross-Sections for Spin-0 Scattering

Lecture 7: The Dirac Equation

Lecture 8: Dirac Equation: Spin, Antiparticles and Feynman Rules

Lecture 9: Coulomb Scattering of Charged Spin-1/2 Particles

Lecture 10: Spin Sums and Trace Techniques


The course assessment is based on returned solutions to two problems sets. The first problem set will be set at the half-way point in the course. The second problem set will be set at the end of the course. Solutions to the problem sets should be submitted by the 25th of November (3 weeks after the end of the course).

Recommended Texts:

The course is largely based on:

"Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics" by F. Halzen and A. Martin

Course Notes:

Detailed notes on the content of the course can be found here.

Problem sets:

Problem set 1: Klein-Gordon equation and spin-less scattering

Problem set 2: Dirac equation and spin-1/2 scattering