Particle Physics I (PHY581)

Time:  Friday 9:00-11:30 am est

Place: B&L 375

Professor: Regina Demina,, 

Web site:

Suggested textbooks: 

Primary reading: F. Halzen and A. Martin, Lepton and Quarks (An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics)

Additional reading:

D. Perkins, Introduction to High Energy Physics

J. Gunion et al, Higgs hunter's guide

V. Barger, R. Phillips, Collider Physics

Course description

The course discusses the fundamentals of the Standard Model as well as some of its extensions. It starts with the discussion of Quantum Electro Dynamics, where some calculation techniques are introduced and applied to deriving cross sections for simple processes. A more detailed treatment is given to the combined electroweak theory and the Electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism. A general overview of the present status of neutrino physics is given to facilitate the understanding of the experimental results in this area. QCD is discussed at the theoretical and phenomenological levels. Towards the end of the course we shall discuss the problems in the Standard Model and introduce several hypothetical solutions with the emphasis on the phenomenological implications. 

The main idea of the course is to establish the connection between the current status of the theoretical developments and the experimental evidence that supports them. Each week one of the students is expected to prepare a 30 min report on the suggested topics. The reports are expected to cover the experimental evidence that went into establishing certain theoretical features. 

The course is targeted towards PhD students that intend to do their thesis on an experimental topic in High Energy Physics. At the same time theory students might find it to be a useful introductory course since it puts a stronger emphasis on the experimental evidence than a typical theoretical course would. Advanced undergraduate students can take this course as well; familiarity with calculus, some group theory as well as quantum mechanics is expected. 

Schedule for Spring, 2014 

Electroweak Section 


Lecture Ð Friday

Suggested report* 

24 January

QED Lagrangian

31 January

Cross Section calculation

7 February

Cross Section calculation (cont)

14 February

Weak interaction, SU(2)

Jeffrey D. Kleykamp: Z decays

21 February

Gauge bosons

Yi-Ting Duh: Top quark mass measurements

28 February

Electroweak Symmetry breaking

Ka Ming K. Woo: Higgs discovery

7 March

H-boson and its properties

Mikhail Davydov: Higgs spin/parity

21 March

Neutrino Interactions, mixing and mass

Robert Fine: Neutrino Interactions

QCD/New physics section 


Lecture Ð Friday

Suggested report* 

28 March

QCD, SU(3), Feynman diagrams

Kin Ho Lo: Discovery of Jets

4 April

Fragmentation and hadronization

b-quark fragmentation

11 April

EW global fit


Konosuke Iwamoto: Review of muon g-2

18 April


25 April

New Physics

Aaron M. Bercellie: Review of CDMS