Learning outcomes of the course unit
Quantum field theory is the general framework for our current
understanding of elementary particle physics. It is also a much more
general language and provides a very useful formalism for solving a
number of problems in a variety of subjects. The course aims at both
preparing the ground for the study of high energy physics and at
providing tools and methods which are useful in a broader area.
Course contents summary
Quantum Field Theory will be the main subject. As a starting point, we will study the basics of classical field theory and we will recall contents from electromagnetism, special relativity, scattering theory and relativistic wave equations.
We will then proceed to scalar and fermionic fields quantization, their Feynman rules to compute the S matrix, both in the canonical and in the Feynman path integral formalism. Renormalization will be studied in the simplest case of self-interacting scalar field theory.
Depending on the time left, the basics of the interaction with the electromagnetic field will be introduced.
There many excellent books on quantum field theory, and it is fairly easy to find them in a library. None of them will be taken as the only reference.
A useful list is the following:
C. Itzykson, C. Zuber, "Quantun field theory", McGraw-Hill
M. Peskin, D. Schroeder, "An Introduction to quantum filed theory", Addison Welsey
G. Sterman, "An Introduction to quantum filed theory", Cambridge University Press
A. Zee, "Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell", Princeton University Press
Notes will be provided by the lecturer when needed.
We will have both frontal lectures and problem solving sessions. The
contents of the latter are to be regarded as a distinguished part of
the knowledge the student is supposed to gain.
Assessment methods and criteria
At the end of the semester, each student will be assigned a problem to
solve. Discussing the solution will be the starting point for the oral
examination; a correct solution is a prerequisite for passing the