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PX430 - Gauge Theories for Particle Physics

  • Module code: PX430
  • Module name: Gauge Theories for Particle Physics
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module follows from Relativistic Quantum Mechanics (which is a pre-requisite) to develop ideas of gauge theories and apply these to the field of particle physics. In particular, the theory underpinning the Standard Model of Particle Physics is described in outline and the symmetry properties of the theory are highlighted. Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is considered in some detail, and its success is illustrated by comparison with experiments.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of this module you should: have an appreciation of the theoretical framework of the Standard Model; understand the symmetry properties associated with gauge invariance; be able to calculate amplitudes for simple QED processes; be able to discuss qualitatively properties of the strong and weak interactions.

Timetabled teaching activities

13 Lectures and 2 problem classes

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/teach/syllabi/year4/px430

Other essential notes

The electromagnetic field is a gauge field. Gauge changes to the vector potential (Aμ → Aμ - ∂μ Φ with Φ an arbitrary function of position and time), combined with multiplication of the wavefunction of particles with charge q by the phase factor, exp( iqΦ) , leave all physical properties unchanged. This is called a gauge symmetry. In particle physics, this idea is generalized to (space- and time-dependent) unitary matrix-valued fields multiplying spinor wavefunctions and fields. This generalization of the theory of an electron in an electromagnetic field is the basis for current theories of elementary particles. The module starts with the theory of the electron in the electromagnetic field making the gauge symmetry explicit. It then discusses the gauge symmetries appropriate for the various theories and approximate theories used to describe other elementary particles and their interactions with their corresponding gauge fields.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX430-7.5)
B (Examination only) 1.5 hr exam (Summer) Gauge Theories for Particle Physics 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc) (G100) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year (G101) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 5
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 4