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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Particle Physics (PHYS11042)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionParticle physics studies the interactions of the fundamental constituents of matter, quarks and leptons.
This course is primarily an introduction to the experimental study of particle physics, but it also aims to give a basic understanding of the theoretical description of particle physics known as the Standard Model.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements At least 80 credit points accrued in courses of SCQF Level 9 or 10 drawn from Schedule Q.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 12:10 - 13:00
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 12:10 - 13:00
King's BuildingsTutorial1-11 09:00 - 09:50
First Class Week 1, Tuesday, 12:10 - 13:00, Zone: King's Buildings. Rm 5215 - JCMB
Additional information Workshop/tutorial sessions, as arranged.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Particle Physics2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:
1) Describe particle physics interactions through the use of Feynman diagrams; understand the role of elementary bosons (photon, W and Z) as exchange particles in the electromagnetic and weak interactions, and be able to write down simple amplitudes;
2) Have a basic understanding of the Dirac equation and the use of its solutions as spinors to describe the states of elementary fermions (quarks and leptons);
3) Understand the concept of a renormalizable gauge theory through the example of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED);
4) Describe the role of discrete symmetries, and in particular parity violation in weak decays;
5) Describe the parton structure of the nucleon as deduced from deep inelastic scattering experiments; including the ideas of Bjorken scaling and scaling violation; draw the parton density functions for valence quarks, sea quarks and gluons;
6) Describe strong interactions in terms of gluon exchange between quarks; including the ideas of confinement and azymptotic freedom; have a basic knowledge of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) including the symmetries of SU(3) color and SU(3) flavor in the quark sector;
7) Categorize hadrons according to their quark content, spin and isospin; know the selection rules for strong, weak and electromagnetic decays of hadrons;
8) Describe the properties of heavy quarks, including their decays to light quarks; know the form of the CKM quark-mixing matrix and understand its role in CP violation in K and B meson decays;
9) Describe the properties of neutrinos, including recent experimental results on solar and atmospheric neutrino oscillations;
10) Describe the electroweak theory and have a knowledge of the experimental tests of the theory; understand the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking and be able to describe the Higgs mechanism.
Assessment Information
Degree Examination, 100%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus & Introduction.
& Feynman diagrams. Scattering cross-sections. Decay rates.
& Dirac equation. Spinors.
& Electromagnetic interactions. Quantum Electrodynamics (QED).
& Weak Interactions. Weak decays. Neutrino scattering.
& Electron-proton scattering. Deep inelastic scattering.
& The parton model. Parton density functions. Scaling violation.
& Strong interactions. Gluons. Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).
& Confinement and azymptotic freedom.
& Quark model of hadrons. Isospin and Strangeness. Heavy quarks.
& Production of hadrons. Resonances. Fragmentation and jets.
& Weak decays of hadrons. CKM matrix.
& Symmetries. Parity. Charge conjugation. Time reversal. CP and CPT.
& Mixing and CP violation in K and B decays.
& Neutrino oscillations. MNS matrix. Neutrino masses.
& Electroweak Theory. W and Z masses. Precision tests at LEP.
& Spontaneous symmetry breaking. The Higgs boson.
& Beyond the Standard Model. Supersymmetry. Grand unification.
& Physics in the LHC era.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Victoria Martin
Tel: (0131 6)51 7042
Course secretaryMiss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
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