Introduction to Quantum Field Theory

Prof. J. Cardy - Michaelmas Term 2010

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 gauge theories in particle physics, together with field theory methods for condensed matter physics.

A basic knowledge of classical, statistical and quantum mechanics will be assumed, as well as contour integration.

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. Divergences and regularisation
  5. Renormalisation and renormalisation group.
  6. Scattering and S-matrices
  7. Path integrals for fermions

The lectures in will be held Wednesdays 10-11, Thursdays 12-1 and Fridays 11-12 in weeks 1,2,4,5 and 6, and on Wednesday 10-11 in week 3, in the Fisher Room, Denys Wilkinson Building.

Last updated September 30, 2010.