Quantum Field Theory I: PHYS 721 [Fall 2019]
Fall break: There is no lecture on Tuesday October 15th.
Office hours: There will be no office hours on Thursday October 17th.
Class schedule: Lectures take place in Small Hall 235, Tuesday and Thursday 11:00-12:20. The first lecture will take place Thursday August 29th.
Textbook: The best textbook for this course is Peskin and Shroeder's An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory. See the syllabus for a brief discussion of other textbooks and useful resources. I will make my (hand written) notes available here after class.
Prerequisites: Physics 622. Knowledge of quantum mechanics and special relativity.
Instructor: Chris Monahan (he/his/him), Small Hall 326C. Email: cjmonahan'at'wm.edu.
Course grading: Assessment will consist of weekly problem sets (60%) and a take-home final exam (40%).
Problem sets Problem sets will be posted here on Tuesday afternoons after class and are due at the start of class the following Tuesday. The first problem set will be posted Tuesday September 3rd and will be due Tuesday September 10th. I will drop the lowest grade on your weekly problem sets (excluding Homework 5, the mini-project).
Office hours: Thursday 2:00-3:00 pm or by arrangement.
What is the Universe really made of? Are there new fundamental particles we haven't found yet? Just how cool is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)?
Quantum field theory is the mathematical framework that underpins our attempts to answer these questions. Except for the third, for which the answer is obviously: very. Grappling with quantum field theory is key to understanding particle and nuclear physics, and much of condensed matter physics.
We will cover:
- Classical field theory.
- Free scalar fields.
- Interacting scalar fields.
- The Dirac equation.
- Quantising the Dirac field.
- Quantum electrodynamics.