6 ECTS credits
180 h study time
Offer 1 with catalog number 4012708FNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.
The combination of quantum mechanics with the laws of special relativity requires the introduction of a new framework: relativistic quantum field theory. This course introduces the concepts and techniques of quantum field theory using a realistic theory: quantum electrodynamics (QED). This is the theory which provides a microscopic description of electrically charged particles interacting through the electro-magnetic force.
After introducing the free Maxwell and Dirac fields, interactions are introduced in a systematic way. The full theory is then treated using time dependent perturbation theory - translated in the form of Feynman diagrams and rules.
Subsequently we use this to analyze several standard processes in QED: pair production, scattering in an external field, Compton scattering, ...
Next radiative corrections are studied thereby introducing the concepts of regularization and renormalization. The course ends with a brief introduction to the generalization of QED to the other fundamental interactions.
The full course is taught by A. Sevrin. This course can be chosen by the first master year of physics students of the KU Leuven as well. In principle the course is taught in Brussels.
There are 5 teaching days - spread over the semester - each of which starting at 9 am and ending at 3 pm. Some days will be in person teaching on the VUB campus, some days will be taught remotely.
The exercises are given in the form of homework. The homework will be corrected and particular problems will be discussed in class.
Relativistic quantum fiel theory is a new conceptual layer in physics relevant when studying natural phenomena at small scales where the laws of quantum mechanics and special relativity apply simultaneously.
The course aims at a good understanding of the foundational principles of quantum field theory while simultaneously the student will enlarge his technical and analytical skills such as to be able to analyze complex realistic problems.
As quantum field theory is one of the basic topics in theoretical physics, the course provides the foundation for numerous other courses.
The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 33% of the final mark.
PRAC Paper determines 33% of the final mark.
SELF Practical Assignment determines 34% of the final mark.
Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:
Within the PRAC Paper category, the following assignments need to be completed:
Within the SELF Practical Assignment category, the following assignments need to be completed:
The homework assignments count for 1/3 of the final score. The final paper together with its presentation is another 1/3 of the final score. An oral discussion on the most important concepts addressed in the course provides the final 1/3 of the points.
This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Photonics Engineering: On campus traject
Master of Photonics Engineering: Online/Digital traject
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Research
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Economy and Business
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Education
Master of Teaching in Science and Technology: fysica (120 ECTS, Etterbeek) (only offered in Dutch)