PHYSICS OF FUNDAMENTAL INTERACTIONS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course has as its main objective the training to present the theoretical formulation and the main phenomenological implications of the Standard Model (SM) of fundamental interactions . Students will acquire familiarity with the main aspects of electroweak interactions, strong interactions and neutrino physics, in light of the most recent experimental results.
Making judgements: students have to demonstrate that they improved their critical abilities in fundamental interactions physics, that they can discuss and comment critically arguments related to the concepts and themes already discussed in the course, to determine which would be the more appropriate way to approach them.
Communication skills: students have to demonstrate that they can effectively expose topics of the
theoretical formulation and the main phenomenological implications of the physics of fundamental interactions. In particular, they must be able to introduce these topics in a clear and accessible way, not only for a specialist in the field, but also for a physicist with a different background.
Learning skills: students have do demonstrate that their knowledge of the modern formulation of the theories of the fundamental interactions is robust enough that they can comprehend the main topics in the field, including specialized ones not treated during the course.
A basic knowledge of the relativistic quantum field theory as well as of the relativistic kinematics.
Course contents summary
The standard model of electroweak interactions is a very successful theory, verified at a high degree of precision in almost all its different sectors by a large number of experimental data accumulated over the last thirty years. In this course, we review the construction of the theory and we point out its most significant properties. We will discuss some aspects of the physics beyond the SM.
Introduction to group theory: Lie groups and algebras and their representations.
Electroweak Interactions: from the Fermi Theory of Beta Decay to the Lagrangian construction for the Standard Model.
Fermion masses: Yukawa interactions, CKM matrix.
Anomaly cancellation in the SM. Standard Model Precision Tests; Production and decay of the Higgs boson.
Neutrino physics: Mass terms for neutrinos, leptonic mixing and neutrino oscillations.
Some aspects of the physics beyond the SM: grand unification, the hierarchy problem, supersymmetry.
R. Barbieri: Lectures on Electroweak Interactions, Edizioni della Normale 2007.
Paul Langacker: The Standard Model and Beyond CRC Press. 2nd ed.
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. Students will be directly involved in the solution of problems.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam. 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 exam.