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

Postgraduate Course: Symmetries of Particles and Fields (PGPH11097)

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
SummaryThis course sets out the mathematical concepts - Lie groups, Lie algebras and their representations - needed to understand the role of symmetries in particle physics, along with various physical applications, in particular the Lorentz group and SU(3), explicit and spontaneous symmetry breaking, gauge symmetries and the Higgs mechanism.
Course description - Lie Groups; Unitary and Orthogonal Groups; One Dimensional Groups; Translations and Rotations; Generators; Lie Algebras; Representations; SU(2) and SO(3); Scalars, Vectors and Tensors
- Lorentz Group; Spinors and Vectors; Poincare Group
- Invariant Actions; Spin zero fields; Spin half fields; Chiral Symmetry
- Noether's Theorem; Conserved Charges; Stress-Energy Tensor
- Real Forms; Compact Lie algebras; Killing form; Casimir Operators; Cartan subalgebra; Roots and Weights; Representations of SU(3)
- Internal Symmetry; Isospin; the Quark Model; the Eight-Fold Way; Mesons and Baryons
- Broken Symmetry; Soft Breaking; Spontaneous Symmetry Breakdown; Goldstone's Theorem
- Local Symmetry; Maxwell's equations; Yang-Mills Theory; Higgs' mechanism
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Symmetries of Quantum Mechanics (PHYS10083)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed ( Classical Electrodynamics (PHYS10098) AND Quantum Theory (PHYS11019) AND Lagrangian Dynamics (PHYS10015)) AND ( Relativity, Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS10096) OR Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS10106) OR Particle Physics (PHYS11042))
Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Quantum Field Theory (PHYS11065)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Symmetries of Particles and Fields assumes knowledge of basic group theory for finite groups, plus some knowledge of representation theory. Previous knowledge of continuous groups is desirable but not essential.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
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 Not entered
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. Understand the concepts underlying the mathematical description of symmetries via groups, algebras and their representations.
  2. Be able to apply these mathematical tools in the context of particle physics, notably to work with the different representations of the Lorentz group and with local and global SU(N) symmetries.
  3. Understand the concepts of explicit and spontaneous symmetry breaking and their physical consequences, including the Higgs mechanism for mass generation for a general gauge group.
Learning Resources
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Brian Pendleton
Tel: (0131 6)50 5241
Course secretaryMs Wendy Hisbent
Tel: (0131 6)51 3448
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