Elementary Particles: The Standard Model and Beyond

Module code: PA3604

This module will build on your knowledge in particle physics, by introducing the experiment methods of high-energy physics, discussing the key aspects of the Standard Model, and developing theoretical aspects of going beyond the standard model. This module examines the Standard Model of elementary particle physics, with a focus on the fundamental forces, using Feynman diagrams, and examples from particle creation and detection in large experiments and cosmic rays.

We will look at the role gauge theory and symmetry groups play in understanding the dynamics of elementary particles. We shall also introduce quantum electrodynamics (the relativistic form for quantum field theory) and look at models beyond the standard model like string theory and supersymmetry.

Topics covered

  • Principle experimental methods of particle physics 
  • Particle interaction and creation using Feynman diagrams, weak and strong nuclear forces
  • The standard model in a theoretical context 
  • Gauge theory, an introduction to quantum electrodynamics
  • Beyond the standard model, supersymmetry

Learning

  • 30 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 118 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (70%)