Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 22F PHYS 5720-001 (CGAS)
In the UVaCollab course site:   22F Intro Nuclear & Particle Phys

Short course description

This is a “field survey” course intended to acquaint the interested advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate student with the foundations, achievements, and current status of the field of elementary particle and nuclear physics.

Tentative syllabus topics (subject to change)

Brief history of subatomic physics
Survey of fundamental interactions
Four-vectors, relativistic transformations
Symmetries and conservation laws
Basics of nuclear structure and dynamics
Lifetimes and cross sections
Introduction to quantum electrodynamics (QED): Dirac equation
Feynman rules for QED
Lepton-lepton scattering
Compton scattering
Lepton-quark scattering
Form factors, quarks and quantum chromodynamics (QCD)
Quark distributions in the nucleon
The quark parton model; Bjorken scaling
Weak interactions: Fermi theory
Weak interactions: muon decay
Weak interactions: pion decay
Neutrino scattering, Z boson
Conserved vector current, Cabibbo mixing, GIM mechanism
Weak neutral currents
Neutrino oscillations
Beyond the Standard Model: supersymmetry
Particle physics and cosmology

Course texts

The course textbook(s) are currently under review.  The eventual choice(s) will likely be from among the following titles:

  • B.R. Martin and G. Shaw, Nuclear and particle physics: an introduction, 3rd ed., (Wiley, 2019) 
  • D. Griffiths, Introduction to elementary particles, 2nd ed., (Wiley-VCH, 2008)
  • M. Thompson, Modern particle physics, (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013)
  • B. Povh, K. Rith, C. Scholz, F. Zetsche, W. Rodejohann, Particles and nuclei, 7th ed., (Springer 2015)
  • F. Halzen and A. Martin, Quarks and leptons, (Wiley, 1984)
  • D.H. Perkins, Introduction to high energy physics, 4th ed., (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000).


Prerequisites for the class are: working knowledge of quantum mechanics at the undergraduate level, e.g., completion of the UVa PHYS 3550/3560 course series or equivalent, and working knowledge of special relativity.  Prior knowledge of field theory is not required.