# Physics 851 Syllabus

# Spring 2007

## Contact information

**Professor:** Markus A. Luty

**Office:** PHYS 4119

**Phone:** (301) 405-6018

**E-mail: **markusluty(at)gmail.com

**Office hours:** By appointment

I am generally available, but I do ask that you make an appointment in
advance.

Course outline
- Path integrals
- Correlation functions and diagrammatic expansion
- Relation to statistical mechanics
- Path integrals for fermions

- Symmetry
- Renormalization
- Physical interpretation of ultraviolet divergences
- Symmetry and renormalization

- Wilson's renormalization group

- The renormalization group in perturbation theory
- Higher orders in perturbation theory

- Effective field theory
- Effective quantum mechanics
- Matching and running in quantum field theory

- Gauge theory
- Why spin 1 requires gauge theory

- Abelian gauge theory
- Non-abelian gauge theory
- Asymptotic freedom and QCD

- Spontaneous symmetry breaking
- Goldstone's theorem
- Effective lagrangians for Goldstone bosons

- Higgs mechanism
- The standard model
- Electroweak gauge bosons
- Fermion masses
- The Higgs boson
- Operator analysis and precision electroweak tests

The subjects covered are standard, but I will treat them from the point
of view of an active practitioner in the field. In particular, the
renormalization and effective field theory are conventionally given a
superficial treatment, but in this course they will be discussed in
detail. (These topics are the "soul" of the course.) I will try to
emphasize physical arguments and the "big picture" that make this
subject understandable—and hopefully reveal its beautiful structure.

I will not guarantee that we will make it through everything listed
above, since I don't like to speed up just to get through material. I
agree with Victor Weiskopff, who said "It is better to uncover a
little, than to cover a lot." I will use student feedback to try and
optimize the pace.

The recommended text is Peskin
and Schroeder, Introduction to
Quantum Field Theory. I will not be following the book closely,
but it is a good reference that covers most of the same material.

## Grading

Grading will be based on the homework assigned throughout the semester.

Revised 1/17/06