Undergraduate Course: Particle Physics (PHYS11042)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  Particle 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 gives an understanding of the theoretical description of particle physics known as the Standard Model.

Course description 
Introduction.
Feynman diagrams. Scattering crosssections. Decay rates.
Dirac equation. Spinors.
Electromagnetic interactions. Quantum Electrodynamics (QED).
Weak Interactions. Weak decays. Neutrino scattering.
The parton model. Parton density functions.
Strong interactions. Gluons. Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).
Confinement and asymptotic 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. PMNS matrix. Neutrino masses.
Electroweak Theory. W and Z masses. Precision tests at LEP.
Spontaneous symmetry breaking. The Higgs boson.
The discovery of the Higgs boson.
LHC physics
Beyond the Standard Model. Supersymmetry. Grand unification.

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  1) Special relativity course up to using four vectors and Lorentz invariant scalar products
2) Non relativistic Quantum Mechanics up to perturbation theory
3) An introductory particle physics course would also be helpful. 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: 100 
Course Start 
Semester 1 
Timetable 
Timetable 
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) 
Total Hours:
100
(
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
56 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
100 %,
Coursework
0 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
Degree Examination, 100% 
Feedback 
Not entered 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S1 (December)  Particle Physics Dec Exam  2:120   Resit Exam Diet (August)  Particle Physics Aug Exam  2:120  
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
 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. Basic understanding of the Dirac equation and the use of its solutions as spinors to describe the states of elementary fermions (quarks and leptons).
 Understand the concept of a renormalisable gauge theory through the example of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). Describe the role of discrete symmetries, and in particular parity violation in weak decays.
 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. Describe strong interactions in terms of gluon exchange between quarks; including the ideas of confinement and asymptotic freedom; have a basic knowledge of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) including the symmetry of SU(3) colour.
 Categorise hadrons according to their quark content, spin and isospin; know the selection rules for strong, weak and electromagnetic decays of hadrons. Describe the properties of heavy quarks, including their decays to light quarks; know the form of the CKM quarkmixing matrix and understand its role in CP violation in K and B meson decays.
 Describe the properties of neutrinos, including recent experimental results on solar and atmospheric neutrino oscillations. 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.

Reading List
Modern Particle Physics
AUTHOR: Mark Thomson
ISBN: 9781107034266 
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Additional Class Delivery Information 
Two lectures (three in week 1) and one tutorial session per week (weeks 211). 
Keywords  ParPh 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof Victoria Martin
Tel: (0131 6)51 7042
Email: victoria.martin@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Mrs Catherine MacMillan
Tel:
Email: cmacmill@ed.ac.uk 

