Particle Physics

Wintersemester 2018/2019
Link zum LSF
                 Elemementary Particle Physics
lecture course

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Oleg Brandt

INF 227, Hörsaal 1
Tuesday 14h15 - 16h00
Thursday 14h15 - 16h00

Fridays 9h15-11h00 (2x)
Fridays 11h00-13h00 (2x)
(see bottom of page)

Courtesy Fermilab Visual Media Services    


Goals of the lecture

The lecture course will cover the elementary particles of the Standard Model (SM) and their fundamental interactions, and will provide an introduction to expermental apparatus that made their discovery possible over the last decades. The present status of the SM of Elementary Particles, its experimental underpinnings, and its shortcomings will be discussed. An outlook to possible extensions of the SM will be given.

This lecture course is naturally a first step for a specialisation towards Particle Physics.

Outline of the lecture

  1. Overview
  2. Cross Sections and Decay Rates
  3. Electromagnetic Interactions of Point-like Particles (QED)
  4. Electromagnetic Interactions of Extended Particles: Nucleon Structure
  5. Strong Interactions (Quantum Chromodynamics, QCD)
  6. Experimental Apparatus: Accelerators
  7. Experimental Apparatus: Detectors
  8. Weak Interactions
  9. Electroweak Interactions in the SM
  10. Beyond the SM



  Date      Chapter  Lecture title
16 Oct I Introduction, fundamental building blocks of matter
18 Oct I Fundamental interactions, units
23 Oct II Relativistic kinematics, Mandelstam variables
25 Oct II Relativistic Fermi's Golden Rule, decay rates and cross sections
30 Oct III Klein-Gordon equation, Dirac equation for free fermions, probability current
1 Nov - no lecture
6 Nov III Dirac particle spinors, particles/antiparticles, charge and parity conjugation
8 Nov III Time-ordered perturbation theory, Feynman rules of QED
13 Nov III Electron-positron annihilation, spin sums
15 Nov III Helicity concept, chiral structure of QED, helicity <> chirality
20 Nov IV Elastic e-p scattering: Rutherford scattering, Mott scattering
22 Nov IV Inelastic e-p scattering: form factors, Rosenbluth formula, Parton model
27 Nov IV Parton model cont'd, parton density functions (PDF),
29 Nov V Flavour symmetries of the strong interaction: SU(2)
4 Dec V SU(3) flavour symmetry, local gauge invariance principle, QED → QCD
6 Dec V Gluons, non-Abelian interactions/confinement, running of alpha_s/asymptotic freedom
11 Dec V QCD in e+e- annihilation, QCD in hadron-hadron collisions
13 Dec VI Acceleration of charged particles, RF cavities, synchrotrons, limitations
18 Dec VII Beam transport, weak and strong focusing, luminosity, LHC complex, future
20 Dec VII Passage of particles through matter, tracking detectors, calorimeters
8 Jan VIII V-A structure of the weak interaction, parity violation, pion decay
10 Jan VIII Weak Interactions of charged leptons and neutrinos
15 Jan VIII Structure functions with v, weak Interactions of quarks, GIM mechanism
17 Jan VIII Matter-antimatter asymmetry, CP violation
22 Jan IX Properties of the W boson, gauge group of weak interactions
24 Jan IX Electroweak unification, Z boson properties
29 Jan IX The Higgs boson, tests of the SM and beyond    | deadline: submit questions
31 Jan X Beyond the SM, historical overview of the SM     | question round


The lecture will give 8 credit points.


The tutorials are an integral part of the lecture, and all take place on Friday. The problem sheets are provided through this website, typically on Wednesdays. On Fridays of the same week, the students have the opportunity to discuss anything that may be unclear in the problem sheet formulation in the tutorials. The problem sheets solutions are then handed in on Fridays of the respective following week, graded, and the solutions are presented and discussed (by the students) on Fridays of the week after.

To successfully accomplish the tutorials, 60% of the points are needed. We encourage the students to work together in small groups of 3 (ideally) or 2 people. One solution per group is sufficient.


The exam will take place on Monday 11th February at 13h45 - 16h00 in INF 308 / HS 1 (HS 1 = big lecture hall in INF 308). Only the students who successfully accomplished the tutorials are admitted to the exam. Bring along your student ID with a picture, and a non-programmable pocket calculator without a WiFi/LTE function.

The exam review ("Klausureinsicht") will take place on Friday 15th February at 13h00-15h00 in INF 227 / HS 2.

The second retry exam (likely written) will take place 8h45 - 11h00 in Philos.-weg 12 / nHS on 12 April. We remind the students that this is a retry exam -- you are strongly encouraged to aim for passing the primary exam in February. In other words, the retry exam is considered a backup option in case of not passing the primary one.


The course mostly, but not exclusively follows the textbook "Modern Particle Physics" by M. Thomson that is available in the library. You may find helpful other literature given below:

  • Thomson, Modern Particle Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2013
  • Barr/Devenish/Walczak/Weidberg, Particle Physics in the LHC Era, Oxford University Press, 2016
  • Halzen/Martin, Quarks & Leptons, Wiley, 1984
  • Griffiths, Introduction to Elementary Particles, Wiley-VCH, 2008
  • Martin/Shaw, Particle Physics, Wiley, 2008
  • Perkins, Introduction to High Energy Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2000
  • Kleinknecht, Detectors for Particle Radiation, Cambridge University Press, 2008
  • Grupen, Teilchendetektoren
  • Wilson, An Introduction to Particle Accelerators, Oxford University Press, 2001
  • Particle Data Group, Review on Particle Physics,


Problem sheets

zum Seitenanfang
Particle Physics
Wintersemester 2018/2019
Link zum LSF
101 Teilnehmer/innen