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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Physics

PHYS51160: Elementary Particle Theory I

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2019/20
Tied to F3K209 Particles, Strings and Cosmology

Prerequisites

  • A First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree in Mathematics or Physics.

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To impart an understanding of the ideas, the mathematical methods and the experimental underpinnings of modern theoretical particle physics through several topics taught at MSc level. In respect of the particular areas, to acquire ability in applying the theory and practice of this knowledge to standard and novel problems or in explaining fundamental aspects of the theory.
  • To provide students with an overview of all aspects of Particle Theory, its Standard Model, supersymmetric extensions, string and brane models and its interplay with Cosmology.
  • To equip students for the more advanced topics to be studied in MATH51260.

Content

  • Introductory Field Theory;
  • Group Theory;
  • Quantum Electrodynamics;
  • The Standard Model;
  • General Relativity;
  • Quantum Field Theory;
  • Conformal FIeld Theory.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will master a body of knowledge from the following topics: Overview of Particle Physics, Introductory Field Theory, General Relativity, Group Theory, Standard Model, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Field Theory and Conformal Field Theory.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will develop highly specialised and advanced mathematical skills in the areas studied.
  • They will be able to solve complex, novel and specialised problems, draw conclusions and deploy physical intuition, with minimal guidance.
  • They will develop their mathematical self-sufficiency and be able to read and understand advanced theoretical physics independently.
Key Skills:
  • (1) Problem solving, written presentation of an argument.
  • (2) The ability to learn actively and reflectively and to develop intuition, the ability to tackle material which is given both unfamiliar and complex.
  • (3) Self-organisation, self-discipline and self-knowledge.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures indicate what is required to be learned and the application of the theory to examples.
  • Formatively assessed assignments provide practice in the application of high level of rigour and sophisticated techniques of mathematical physics as well as feedback for the students and the lecturer on students' progress.
  • The examinations assess the knowledge acquired and the ability to solve both standard and novel problems.
  • The ability to solve problems will show that the key skills have been developed. (Group (1) is tested directly in the problem solving and group (2) either directly or indirectly by the testing of the knowledge acquired. For group (3), a student who has acquired the knowledge and skills to succeed in this module will necessarily have had to develop the ability to organise and execute a programme of work and will discover aspects of and limits to his/her ability.)

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 128 14 per week 1 hour 128
Preparation and Reading 472
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Continuous Assessment 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 90%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 1 3 hours 50%
Examination 2 3 hours 50%

Formative Assessment:

Problems set by lecturers and a report at the end of the module.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University


    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.