Field Theory in Particle Physics (2016-2017)
(Particles and Fields)
Lecturers: Bernard de Wit, Eric Laenen Wouter Waalewijn
Tutors: Jort Sinninghe-Damste, Valerio Bertone, Andreas Papaefstathiou

The lectures will be held in Amsterdam, Science Park room C1.112. Tutorials will be held both in Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Last modified: Wed Jun 21 10:46:16 CEST 2017

This is the website for the UvA students. The Utrecht website for the course is here.

Pre-exam question session for UvA students on June 6, 15.00-17.00 at Nikhef, room H320.

Content of the course

This is an interuniversity course. In this course we investigate the structure and manifestations of (non-abelian) gauge theories. The Standard Model of elementary particles is an example, but we will often take a broader view. We begin with a general discussion of rigid and local symmetries, leading to the construction of gauge theories. Subsequently we discuss the quantization of gauge fields: gauge-fixing, ghost fields and Feynman rules. This enables a treatment of quantum corrections and renormalization, asymptotic freedom and chiral anomalies. Depending on available time, we aim to discuss Quantum Chromodynamics, spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism.

Prerequisites: a good introduction in quantum field theory, some knowledge of group theory and of Lorentz invariance.


The lectures will take place at the University of Amsterdam, SPA C1.112. There will be three hours of lectures (with intermissions) every Wednesday, so that the total number of lecturing days is equal to twelve. There are 4-hours tutorials for the UvA, check datanose for time and location. Be there on time!

First lecture: Wednesday 8 February, 2017 from 10.00-13.00, SPA C1.112
First tutorial: Friday 10 February, 2017, from 09.00-13.00 in SPA B0.203 (see datanose for details and further dates)

Last lecture: May 17, 2017
Last tutorial: May 24, 2017

How to pass the course

Every two weeks, two homework problems will be assigned at the end of the session which have to be handed in one week later at the beginning of the next tutorial at. For students who are late, we subtract 2 points (out of 10). Students that are much too late in handing in (we take our freedom to judge ourselves what means "much too"), obtain zero points. All solutions are handwritten, no latex is necessary. Also: no email, no scanned pictures with your phone or whatever you send by email. You simply hand in the problems at the tutorial session. One of the problems will be graded (we don't tell you which one) during the consecutive week and the corrections can be discussed (and copied) in the next tutorial session.

Integrity and quality of hand-in work
Hand-in exercises are an important part of the feed-back mechanism from lecturer/TA to student. The quality, readability, and exposure of this work must therefore be of such a standard that feed-back is possible and efficient. Although it need not to be type-set, it is necessary that steps and structure are clear. It is required to rewrite and restyle actual erratic calculations in a way that allows for efficient grading. Amsterdam students who hand in sufficient homework will get further 3EC for the course, for a total of 9 EC. Copying solutions from previous years is not allowed, and will be checked for.

Grades and marks for UvA students
Students can pass the course in either of two ways, A) or B).
A) The final grade is composed of 20% homework, 30% midterm, and 50% final exam. The final exam score must be at least 5.0.
B) The final grade is 100% composed of the final exam.
There will be a retake for the final exam (i.e. not for the midterm). For the retake the student can again choose option A or B. No books, lecture notes etc. are allowed during the exams.

The details and the organization of the problem assignments will appear regularly here on the website.

Midterm exam: Wednesday 12 April, C1.112, 10.30-12.30. It covers material up to (and including) chapter 10.
Final exam: Wed, June 7. Room REC J/K 1.19. Retake exam: Wed, June 21. Room SPA A1.14

No books, lecture notes etc, will be allowed during the exams.

Literature and lecture notes

Lecture notes will be made available and can be bought in Amsterdam and in Utrecht. We will announce in class when and where the next set of notes will become available. In Amsterdam they can be bought at the ESC desk. Part 1 of the notes should be available before the start of the tutorials. The notes from previous years have become obsolete. The lecture notes are part of the text of a forthcoming book "Field Theory in Particle Physics" (de Wit, Laenen, Smith).

Some additional material

Lectures and foreseen content


8 February: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4
15 February: 8.1, 8.2, 8.3
22 February: 5.3, 5.4, 6.6 (only the beginning)
1 March: 6.6 (remainder), 9.1 (there will be a new hand-out for section 6.6).
8 March: 9.2, 9.3, 10.1, 10.2
15 March: 10.2, 10.3, 15.1
22 March: 15.1, 15.2, 15.3
29 March: no class
5 April: 15.4, 15.5, 15.6
12 April: Midterm
19 April: no class 
26 April: 17.1-17.3, 17.5,17.6, 18.1, 18.2 
3 May: 12.1, 12.2, 12.3
10 May: 19.1, 19.2, 19.3
17 May: 20.1, 20.2, 21.1 

Assigned exercises

Roman numbers refer to exercises and problems in ``Field Theory in Particle Physics'' 
Numbes in square brackets, if present, refer to UU lecture notes on QFT.

10 February: exercises 7.1, 7.2, problems 7.1, 7.2
Homework assignment: exercise 3.1 and problem 2.3 [to be handed in 24-2].

17 February: exercises 8.1, 8.2, problems 8.1, 8.2.

24 February: problems 5.4, 5.9,  exercises 6.4, 8.6. Homework assignment: exercises 2.3 and 4.1.

3 March: exercises 6.7, 6.9, problems 6.5, exercise 8.3.

10 March: exercises 4.2, 10.1, problems 9.3, 9.4.  Homework assignment: problems 9.1, 9.2

17 March: exercises 10.2, 10.3, problems 10.1, 10.2.

24 March: problems 15.1, 15.4, exercises 15.1, 15.2. Homework assignment: problems 10.4, 10.5.

7 April: Exercise 15.3, Problems 10.6, 10.7. Correction exercise 15.2: in beta_c the numerator 
         factor 16 should be changed into 8. 

13 April: review of some earlier exercises.

21 April: Problems 10.10, 10.11, 11.1. Homework assignment: Problems 11.2, 15.5 (correction in 15.5 
   towards the end: "calculated in problems 10.11 and 11.1,"

4 May: Problems 15.3, 17,3, 18.5, 18.6.

12 May: Problems 18.5, 18.6, 12.2, Exercise 12.2.  Homework assingment: Exercise 12.3, Problem 12.3.

19 May: Problems 12.6, 19.1, 19.3 

24 May, extra tutorial in SP A1.10: Problems  20.3, 19.5, 20.7 (20.1 if there is time)

Towards the end of the course we will schedule a meeting where we will answer your 
questions in preparation for the final exam. Please, contact us 
during office hours in case of more urgent questions or in order 
to familiarize us with some of the topics you want us to explain.