Physics 752 (Prof. Agashe) – Spring 2022
Topics (and reading material) for term paper
You are to write (and present) sometime during finals week a term paper (at least 10 pages
long). The basic idea of this term paper is that you should explore some topic beyond what is
done in lecture, either an extension of the standard model (SM) itself (e.g., topics 1-4 listed
below) or some detail of SM that we didn't have time to cover (e.g, topic 6). And, you
should try to focus more on theory aspect of that topic than on the relevant
experimental issues, since that is the feature of this course.
I have listed some possible topics below, including suggestions for
background reading material (which can,
at the least, serve as starting point for writing the paper - of course you
should, if possible, explore further).
You should also feel free to suggest other topics - I can discuss them with you before I
approve of them for the term paper.
Finally, I leave it up to all of you to “divide-up” the topics among
yourselves: it is even possible for two of you to collaborate on
different parts of the same topic, e.g., supersymmetry and extra dimensions
(see # 2 and 3 below) each have theory and phenomenology components.
(1) Theory of neutrino masses [including Dirac mass just like for charged fermions;
Majorana mass from SU(2)_L triplet VEV or see-saw mechanism]: see section 13.2 of Cheng
sections 3, 4 and 6 of above review and
(b) applying these general principles to build the minimal supersymmetric SM (MSSM) as in
section 5 , 7 (and possibly 8).
If you wish, some of you can form a "team" to cover this topic.
(3) Extra dimensions: see lecture notes here
In particular, the eventual goal of term paper (again, if you wish, two of you can work together
on this topic) could be to solve one (or more) of exercises in
appendices of above lectures.
(More lecture notes on this topic are in references of above.)
(4) Grand Unified Theories: for general reviews, see here; "Grand Unified Theories and
Proton Decay" by P. Langacker, Phys. Rept. 72, 185 (1981), QC1.P6563 and "Grand Unified
Theories" by G. G. Ross, QC794.6.G7 R67 1985.
This can be sub-divided into
(a) based on SU(5) group: see chapter 14 of Cheng and Li.
(b) based on SO(10) group
(5) Direct detection of Dark Matter: for general reviews of (particle physics candidates for)
dark matter done here. For example, why a Majorana fermion gives spin-dependent cross-
section for scattering off of nuclei by exchanging a Z boson in t-channel: see analysis of
diagram 3a starting on page 13 vs. Dirac fermion which also gives spin-INdependent effect:
see analysis of diagram 2a on page 9 onwards.
(6) Phenomenology of CP violation [including connecting the theory calculation of 4-quark
flavor-violating operators to hadronic data]: see section XIV-3 to XIV-6 of Donoghue,
Golowich and Holstein for B-mesons and chapter IX for Kaons or section 12.2 of Cheng
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