Physics 851 Syllabus

Spring 2007

Contact information

Professor: Markus A. Luty
Office: PHYS 4119
Phone: (301) 405-6018
E-mail: markusluty(at)

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

Course outline 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 will be based on the homework assigned throughout the semester.

Revised 1/17/06