Physics 500 012

Physics 500 012 Spring 2023
Quantum Field Theory Without Tears

SYLLABUS

Welcome to Physics 500 012 for 2023.
Professor: Kevin Cahill
Phone: 505 205 5448, after 1 pm.

Credit/No credit
Time: Thursdays at 3 pm.
Place: Zoom.
https://unm.zoom.us/j/9119790161
Meeting ID: 911 979 0161
Passcode: class


In this course, you will explore the two approaches to quantum field theory: quantization via annihilation and creation operators and quantization via path integrals. You will learn how scalar, vector, spinor, and tensor fields transform under Lorentz and general coordinate transformations. We will discuss abelian and nonabelian gauge theory and the standard model. Perturbation theory will be used to compute some physical rates and quantities.

There are no explicit prerequisites for this course, but students should have some knowledge of quantum mechanics.

There is no required textbook. I will supply notes. Two excellent books are The Theory of Quantum Fields I by Steven Weinberg and Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell by Anthony Zee.

Notes on quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.

Notes on group theory.

Notes on natural units.

Chapter 4 (on the cluster decomposition principle) of Weinberg's The Quantum Theory of Fields I.



Videos visible only with their links:
Class of 19 Jan.
Class of 26 Jan.






Summer fellowships available at Sandia


A Particle That May Fill 'Empty' Space by Frank Wilczek.
A Particle That May Fill 'Empty' Space by Frank Wilczek -- audio that requires a W$J subsciption.

Accounting for a Wrinkle in Time by Frank Wilczek.
Accounting for a Wrinkle in Time by Frank Wilczek -- audio that requires a W$J subsciption.



Before they graduate, all students of physics should read at least the first section of the essay The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics by Steven Weinberg.