Elementary Particle Physics 

Fall 2017


Place and Time:



This is an introduction to Modern Elementary Particle Physics. The course is an overview of the field. This year the course will start with the theory part of the course which will open with an introducion of the particle physics taxonomy. The basics of field theory required for quantification of relativistic processes will be introduced. The three well established gauge theories: QED, QCD and electroweak interactions will be described and the basic techniques to evaluate cross sections and decay rates for some processes at first order will be given. The final part of the course will review the characteristic examples of experiments in particle physics.


These are the text books being used to prepare the lectures

The particle data listings will be useful. It can be accessed online by the students at Particle Data Group

Program (Tentative):

Chapter 1 ``Overview of particle physics'': Elementary particles and interactions; Strong interacions: Baryons and mesons; Weak interactions; Generations. (Chapter 1 Halzen and Martin, Chapter 0-1 Griffiths, Chapter 1 Perkins)

Chapter 2 `` Fields for Free Particles'': Scalars: free fields and propagators; Dirac Fermions: free fields and propagators; Vectors: free fields and propagators; (Halzen and Martin, 3.3 to 3.5, 5, Griffiths 7.1 to 7.3, Peskin and Schroeder 2.2 to 2.4, 3.3 to 3.6, )

Chapter 3 ``From Interaction Amplitudes to Observables'': Example of fermion-scalar interaction: perturbative expansion; Wick's theorem and Feynman rules; Observables: decay width and scattering cross section. (Peskin and Schroeder 4.3 to 4.7)

Chapter 4 ``QED for leptons'' : Electromagnetic interaction as a U(1) (Abelian) gauge theory (QED); Feynman rules for QED; Calculation of scattering amplitudes and cross sections at tree level for several processes in QED; Higher order: Renomalization; e- mu- --> e- mu- in Lab frame; (Halzen and Martin chap 6 and 14.1-14.3 , Griffiths 7.5 and 7.9, Peskin and Schroeder 4.8, 5.1,5.2.)

Chapter 5 ``QED and the structure of hadrons'': Concept of form factors; e-p -->e-p elastic scattering: proton form factors; e-p -->e-p elastic inelastic scattering; Bjorken scaling and quarks; quark distribution functions; the gluons. (Halzen and Martin 8.1-8.4, Chapter 9; Griffiths 8.3-8.6))

Chapter 6 ``Strong Interactions: Quantum Chromodynamics'': Representations of SU(N); Evidence of 3 colours: e+e---> hadrons; Lagrangian and Feynman rules for QCD; q qbar interactions: colour singlet and colour octet configurations; Asymptotic freedom: perturbative QCD and factorization; Tests of perturbative QCD: Drell-Yan, e+e--> 2 jets and the spin of the quark; e+e- --> 3 jets and the spin of the gluon ; Internal symmetries and classification of bound states of strong interactions (hadrons): SU(2) isospin flavour and SU(3) flavour. (Halzen and Martin chapter 2,Griffiths 9, Halzen and Martin 10.1, 11);

Chapter 7 ``Weak Interactions'': Weak decays and parity violation: V-A weak charged currents; W boson as mediator of weak charged currents; Low energy tests: muon decay, nuclear beta decay, neutrino decay, neutrino-electron scattering; fermion mixing matrix; Weak neutral currents: Z0 and the GIM mechanism; CP violation. ((Halzen and Martin 12,Griffits 10.1-10.6 );

Chapter 8 ``Electroweak Unification'': Weinberg-Salam Model of Electroweak Interactions; Spontaneous symmetry breaking: Higgs mechanism; Masses of the Gauge Bosons and of the Fermions. (Halzen and Martin 13, 14.6 to 14.9, Griffits 10.7, 11.8,11.9)

Chapter 9 ``Experimental Techniques in Particle Physics'': Interaction of particles with matter. Types of sub detectors: calorimeters, tracking and Cherenkov. Accelerators. Measurement of luminosity. Trigger, event reconstruction and data analysis ''

Chapter 10 ``Example of a HEP experiment: ALEPH'': The Aleph detector. Measurement of the number of light neutrinos. Jets physics. Search for new physics.

Chapter 11 ``Heavy flavour experiments'': The LHCb and BaBar experiments. e+e- vs pp machines. Flavor tagging. Secondary vertex reconstruction. Lifetime measurements. Rare decays. CP violation. T violation.

Problem Sets and Grading:

Problem sets will be assigned in class and are due on the date shown. You are expected to solve them on your own and the final calculations handed in must be your own work and must be written by hand . Late homework will not be accepted. The final grade will be based on the homeworks and a final work or exam (depending on the number of students and available time).
  • Homework Assignment 1 [ link ]
  • Homework Assignment 2 [ link ]
  • Homework Assignment 3 [ link ]
  • Homework Assignment 4 [ link ]
  • Homework Assignment 5 [ link ]
  • Homework Assignment 6 [ link ]