Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 19F PHYS 5720-001 (CGAS)
In the UVaCollab course site:   19F PHYS 5720-001 (CGAS)

PHYS 5720 - Fall 2019 - Syllabus

Course contents: This course gives an introduction into subatomic physics for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. We will discuss the foundations and recent achievements of the field of elementary particle and nuclear physics. Most of the semester will be spent on the Standard Model of Elementary Particle Physics, including topics such as conservation laws and Feynman diagram calculations (Don't be intimidated by the sight of "Feynman diagrams", we will take small steps). This course does not replace, or is made obsolete with a course in quantum field theory. The undergraduate course in Applied Nuclear Physics (PHYS 3250) is NOT a pre-requisite.

Instructor: Your instructor is Stefan Baessler, room 169 in the new wing of the physics building, 243-1024, Office hours are Monday, 2:30-3:30 pm, and  Wednesday, 3-4 pm

Prerequisite(s): The principal prerequisite for the class are solid problem-solving skills. I expect you to have taken a course in quantum mechanics, at least at the upper undergraduate level, as it is taught in our PHYS 3650 and PHYS 3660. Other less advanced prerequisites includes elementary special relativity. Prior knowledge of field theory is not required.

Textbooks: The majority of the lectures will focus on particle (high energy) physics. These lectures will follow Griffiths, Introduction to Elementary Particles, Second, Revised Edition, Wiley-Vch, ISBN: 978-3-527-40601-2. I advise you to get at least this book.

The nuclear physics introduction will follow Povh, Rith, Scholz, Zetsche, Rodejohann, Particles and Nuclei, 7th edition, Springer, ISBN: 978-3-662-49583-4

Grades: Your course grade will be computed in the following way:

Homework (every Thursday) 30%
Midterm exam (Thursday, October 10, class-time + 1h early or late) 30%
Final exam (Monday, December 9, 2019, 9 am) 40%

Grades given as a percentage translate into a letter grade according to the following list:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
>95 >90 >87 >83 >80 >77 >73 >70 >65 >60 >55 >50 otherwise

Policies and useful tips:

  • The course's web site ("PHYS 5720 (Fall 2019)" with tabs syllabus, wiki, assignments, ...) should be on your UVa Collab account. If it doesn't appear there, let me know.
  • I will provide lecture notes (hand-written, my hand-writing) on the wiki.
  • Do not hesitate to ask questions at any point. Make use of office hours.
  • Homework is due every Thursday, at the beginning of the lecture. You are encouraged to work on homework problems in teams. Furthermore, you are encouraged to ask for help from the instructor. However, do not expect to be walked through the steps of the correct solution before submission. Also, merely copying a solution from somebody else is not permitted. Use of problem solutions from previous years, or internet sources, is forbidden. Keep in mind that when the answer comes easily, you learn less and have less feeling of achievement. I will not accept late homework, unless you ask for it in time, give a reason, and I have granted permission. The lowest homework score will be dropped for all students who fill in the course evaluation at the end of the semester.
  • The midterm and the final exams ARE pledged and one must not receive help from others for the exams. The midterm and final are in-class and open-book exams (books and notes, but no electronics, are allowed).
  • Show all your work in homework and exam problem solutions. Check that your computations include correct physical units, sensible orders of magnitude and the appropriate number of significant digits.
  • Points for graded items can be found in collab’s gradebook. The calculation of averages, and of the final grade will follow the rules above, and is not performed correctly in collab.
  • Class Honor Policy Statement: I trust every student in this course to fully comply with all of the provisions of the UVa honor system. Alleged honor violations brought to my attention may be forwarded to the Honor Committee. If, in my judgment, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that a student has committed an honor violation with regard to an exam, that student will receive an immediate grade of "F" for that exam, irrespective of any subsequent action taken by the Honor Committee.

Table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Elementary nuclear physics
  3. Relativistic kinematics
  4. Symmetries
  5. Quark Model of hadrons
  6. Basics of Feynman diagrams
  7. QED
  8. Nucleon structure
  9. Weak Interactions
  10. Beyond-Standard-Model physics incl. neutrinos (aka. current research directions)