University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Phys 8901.001

Elementary Particle Physics I

New syllabus item
modified 8-Aug-2017 at 9:50AM by Mikhail Voloshin

Books and reference material:

1. Quang Ho-Kim and Pham Xuan Yem, Elementary Particles and Their Interactions, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1998. ISBN 3-540-63667-6. RECOMMENDED

2. Robert Mann, An Introduction to Particle Physics and the Standard Model, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, London, NY,2010. ISBN 978-1-4200-8298-2. RECOMMENDED

3. The Review of Particle Physics, C. Patrignani et al. (Particle Data Group), Chin. Phys. C, 40, 100001 (2016) and 2017 update (online) and/or Particle Physics Booklet. The online edition is available at Both the full tables and the booklet can be ordered for free from THIS IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED REFERENCE MATERIAL! The Tables will be constantly used in class and are also necessary for the homework.

Grading and tests:

Grading will be done mostly based on successful completion of the homework assignments. There will be one mid-term quiz and no final exam.

Outline of the material to be covered during the semester.

1. Natural System of Units. Conversion rules. Dimensional estimates.

2. Fundamental Interactions. Gravity, weak and electromagnetic forces, strong interaction, overview of their role in the nature phenomena. Constants of the interactions, their relative strength.

3. Exact and approximate symmetries and conservation laws. Parity, C-parity, time reversal. Notion of the CP and the CPT symmetries and the CPT theorem. Electric charge conservation.

4. Isotopic symmetry. SU(2) group. Commutation relations, generators of transformations, irreducible representations, Pauli matrices. Raising and lowering operators, simple technique for calculating Clebsh-Gordan coefficients and for finding isotopic relations between amplitudes. Shmushkevich's method of finding isotopic relations. Pauli and Bose statistics and isotopic properties of composite objects. Deutron. Isotopic properties of nucleons, delta isobars, pions, rho and omega. Reactions among them. G-parity.

5. Composite models and SU(3) symmetry. Fermi and Sakata models. Strangeness. Quark model. SU(3) group. Composition of multiplets. SU(3) multiplets of mesons and baryons. Gell-Mann - Okubo mass formulas. SU(3) symmetry relations for magnetic moments of baryons. U, V and I spins. Symmetry relations for electromagnetic decays of pseudoscalar mesons. Coupling of vector mesons to photon and symmetry relations for them. Breaking of SU(3) symmetry and mixing in pseudoscalar and vector nonets.

6. Charmed and Beauty hadrons. Mesons and baryons with 'open' heavy quark flavor, their classification under SU(3). Mesons with 'hidden' heavy quark flavor: charmonium and bottomonium.

7. Amplitudes and probabilities. Kinematical invariants. Invariant amplitudes. Calculation of Lorenz invariant phase space.

8. Perturbation theory for the amplitudes. Calculation of tree-level amplitudes from Lagrangian.

9. Quantum Chromodynamics. Color of quarks. Notion of Abelian and non-Abelian gauge symmetry. QCD as an SU(3) gauge theory. Gluons. Running coupling constant in QED and in QCD. Asymptotic freedom. The value of R in electron-positron annihillation into hadrons. Relations between charmonium decays into photons and into gluons.

10. Deep inelastic scattering. Kinematics of deep inelastic scattering. Dimensionless variables. Nucleon structure functions. Bjorken scaling. Parton model. Relations between deep inelastic scattering of electrons/muons and of neutrino/antineutrino. Drell-Yan process. Scaling violation.