Physics and astronomy

Particle Physics

Module code: F3214
Level 6
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Class, Lecture, Workshop
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

This module is a first introduction to basic concepts in Elementary Particle Physics. It presents an introductory discussion of leptons and quarks and their interactions in the standard model. Particular emphasis will be given to experimental methodologies and experimental results. A selection of topics covered in this course include: 

  • Cross-sections and decay rates 
  • Relativistic kinematics
  • Detectors and accelerators
  • Leptons
  • Quarks and hadrons 
  • Space-time symmetries
  • The quark model 
  • Electromagnetic interactions 
  • Strong interactions: QCD, jets and gluons 
  • Weak interactions and electro-weak unification
  • Discrete symmetries
  • Aselection of topics in physics beyond the standard model

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand, discuss and apply the basic concepts on which the Standard Model of particle physics is built
  • Draw lowest-order Feyman diagrams for Standard Model processes and use them to estimate observables such as cross sections and decay rate in elementary particle processes
  • Understand and discuss acceleration of charged particles and the detection of particle radiation in a typical experimental particle physics apparatus
  • Describe, discuss and draw conclusions from the main experimental on which the Standard Model of particle physics is constructed