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

Postgraduate Course: Quantum Chromodynamics (PGPH11096)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe first part of the QCD course builds upon the knowledge acquired in Relativistic QFT to compute tree-level cross sections, and applies it to collider physics applications. The second part of the course lays the foundations of Lattice QCD.
Course description - Local gauge invariance, QCD Lagrangian, Feynman rules.
- Colour algebra, colour Fierz identity, the double-line notation, the large Nc limit
- Spinor helicity method; tree-level amplitudes; recursion relations.
- The beta function and the running coupling constant.
- e+e- annihilation to hadrons: total cross sections; jet cross sections; infrared safety, event shape variables.
- Deep inelastic scattering structure functions, collinear factorization, parton density functions, splitting functions, scaling violation and the Altarelli-Parisi equations.
- Drell-Yan and Higgs production.
- Why we need non-perturbative methods in QCD [large coupling and RG argument for hadron masses].
- Relation between QM in imaginary time and equilibrium statistical mechanics, the transfer matrix.
- Scalar fields on the lattice: action, classical continuum limit, path integral for free lattice scalar field, the "boson determinant", continuum limit obtained at continuous phase transitions, universality.
- Fermion fields on the lattice: naive+doubling, Wilson, staggered, Nielsen-Ninomiya theorem, domain-wall/overlap/Ginsparg-Wilson. Fermion path integral, fermion determinant, pseudofermions.
- Gauge fields on the lattice: Wilson action, classical continuum limit, strong coupling expansion - string tension and glueball masses. Inclusion of fermions - hopping parameter expansion. Weak coupling expansion, lambda parameters. (Anomalies?)
- QCD on the lattice: two-point hadron correlators - masses and decay constants; three-point hadron correlators - matrix elements, form factors. Examples: semileptonic decays, neutral kaon mixing.
- Numerical techniques: Markov Chain Monte Carlo - Metropolis-Hastings for pure QCD (and quenched approximation); Hybrid Monte Carlo for full QCD. Critical slowing down in continuum and chiral limits - topological charge.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Relativistic Quantum Field Theory (PHYS11021)
Students MUST also take: Modern Quantum Field Theory (PGPH11094)
It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Symmetries of Particles and Fields (PGPH11097)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 52 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20% coursework
80% examination
Feedback Comments on returned coursework. Interaction at workshops.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Know the field theoretical formulation of QCD, the theory of the strong interactions.
  2. Be able to compute tree-level processes in QCD using Feynman diagram techniques.
  3. Be able to apply these methods to analyse scattering processes within QCD, including understanding of infrared safety and collinear factorization.
  4. Understand the need for a non-perturbative formulation of QCD and way this is accomplished by the lattice regularization of the theory.
  5. Be able to compute in the strong and weak coupling expansions and appreciate the need for numerical methods.
Learning Resources
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Anthony Kennedy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5272
Course secretary Yuhua Lei
Tel: (0131 6) 517067
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