Phys 600C - Quantum Field Theory, Fall 2011, 3 credit hours, MW, 5:35 to 6:50 PM, Physics Dept., Room 021, Jabara Hall

The text is "Quantum Mechanics with Basic Field Theory" by Bipin R. Desai, Cambridge 2010.

This course will give a brief introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics and elements of quantum field theory. I hope to cover roughly material from Chapters 31 through 37 on the special theory of relativity and relativistically invariant equations of Klein-Gordon, Maxwell, and Dirac and their quantization for free and interacting particles, Chapter 41 on the Lagrangian formulation of classical fields and Noether's Theorem and conservation laws, and Chapters 43 through 45 giving a brief introduction to quantum electrodynamics (QED), the derivation of the Feynman rules, and the use of Feynmann diagrams to calculate quantities of physical interest such as decay rates and scattering cross sections. Additional material such as Chapters 38, 39, 40, and 42, including important applications to condensed matter and superconductivity, may also be covered, time permitting, or used for student presentations. Time permitting, I will also try to say a little about renormalization, gauge theories, the standard model of particle physics, and other matters.

Prerequisites should include some familiarity with special relativity and quantum mechanics or a willingness to learn the material as needed. Background material and mathematical techniques (e.g., contour integration for propagators) will be reviewed or developed as needed, so the course should be reasonably self-contained.

The grade will be based mainly on homework problems and student presentations to be scheduled toward the end of the semester.

Some other texts, all availble in our library, may provide sources of material, problems, or presentations In Fall 2009, I used the text "A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory", by Michele Maggiore, Oxford (2005). We may take some material from this book. Another somewhat more advanced presentation of this material is given in Part I of the popular graduate-level text, "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" by M. E. Peskin and D. V. Schroeder, Addison-Wesley (2005). Part of my aim is to give some theoretical background for Physics 675, Nuclear and Particle Physics, which will be offered in Spring 2012. Some particle physics texts which include introductions to calculations using Feynman diagrams are "Introduction to Elementary Particles" (2nd ed.) by D. J. Griffiths, Wiley (2008), "Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics" by F. Halzen and A. D. Martin, Wiley (1984), and "An Introduction to Particle Physics and the Standard Model" by Robert Mann, CRC (2010).