Introduction to Quantum Field Theory

Prof. J. Cardy - Michaelmas Term 2002

Quantum field theory forms the backbone of many areas of theoretical physics, from gauge theories of particle physics to advanced condensed matter problems. This 16-hour lecture course is intended as an introduction to the subject, taking the student from quantum mechanics to the formulation and solution of relativistic field theories in terms of path integrals.

The course will put the students in a position to carry on to more advanced subjects like quantum electrodynamics (QED) and quantum chromodynamics (QCD), together with advanced quantum field theories for condensed matter physics.

A basic knowledge of classical, statistical and quantum mechanics will be assumed, together with complex variable calculus.

It is hoped that the the following topics will be covered, as time allows:

  1. Path integral formulation of quantum mechanics
  2. Path integrals in field theory: generating functionals
  3. Feynman diagrams, Feynman rules
  4. Scattering and S-matrices
  5. Divergences and regularisation
  6. Renormalisation and renormalisation group.
  7. Path integrals for fermions

The lectures in will be held on Mondays and Thursdays at 11 am in the Dennis Sciama Lecture Theatre.