Standard Model (ns-tp527m), Utrecht, spring 2008, E.Laenen

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  • Lecturer: Eric Laenen
  • Assistants: Hugo Looijestijn, Paul Reska

Course Info

The course introduces the Standard Model, the microscopic theory of matter and the strong, weak and electromagnetic fundamental forces. In 2008 the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will start, stress-testing this theory as never before. In particular, it should help us unravel the mechanism of so-called electroweak symmetry breaking, about which we will learn. In the first lectures we learn relativistic scattering theory, and how to relate Green's functions to cross sections. We then construct Lagrangians for scalar, fermion and vector fields, and discuss various global and local symmetries. The necessary group theory is reviewed. We derive Feynman rules, compute a particular cross section and compare with experiment. We discuss a one-loop correction and the key ideas behind renormalization and the renormalization group equation. Next we construct the full Standard Model Lagrangian, discuss spontaneous symmetry breaking, Goldstone's theorem and the Higgs mechanism. We show that in the Standard Model chiral anomalies cancel. Bounds on the Higgs boson mass are derived. Then we examine the quark sector, where we discuss quark mixing and CP violation, and the neutrino sector, where we discuss their masses and oscillations. If there is time, we discuss key features of Quantum Chromodynamics. The first part of the course is predominantly theoretical in nature, involving a good deal of quantum field theory, but later on we will often compare with and refer to experimental tests of the Standard Model. Although some topics may be somewhat technical, we shall always strive to understand them in clear, physical terms.

Useful links

CERN, Nikhef, Particle physics news

An interesting article on the connection of spontaneous symmetry breaking and BCS superconductivity.

--T45 21:41, 16 January 2008 (MET)

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