Quantum Field Theory

Fall-Winter 2017    Welcome to PH6048! Relativistic Quantum Field Theory is the fundamental framework underlying the description of how Nature works at her most microscopic level. Depending on your background, this may not be an easy class, but if you do exert the mental effort I believe you'll find the course intellectually rewarding!
  1. Textbook: An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, by Peskin and Schroeder
  2. Class Venue: S4-623
  3. Class Times: Wed 9 - 9:50 am and Fri 2 - 3:50 pm (Subject to change) 
  4. My Office: S4-718
  5. E-mail: yizen [dot] chu [at] gmail [dot] com
  6. My Office Hours: Tuesdays 9 - 10 am.
  7. Jason Payne (Graduate Teaching Assistant):
    1. Office: S4-507
    2. E-mail: jasonpayne16 [at] gmail [dot] com
    3. Office Hours: Wed 11 am - 1 pm.
- Yi-Zen
  • Disability     If you have a disability that you think I should know about, and if you need special accomodations, please feel free to speak to me after class or e-mail me to set up a meeting.    
  • Academic Integerity     You are encouraged to discuss with your classmates the material covered in class, and even work together on your assignments. However, the work you turn in must be the result of your own effort. If I find that you copied your work from some place else, you will immediately receive zero credit for that particular piece of work. If you plagarized your classmate, your classmate will also receive zero credit for her/his/their work, unless (s)he/they can prove to my satisfaction (s)he/they were unwilling participant(s) of your dishonesty.
Syllabus and Grading Scheme

Not in strict order -- we will be covering:
  • (Semi-)Classical Field Theory in Minkowski Spacetime
  • Spacetime Symmetries and Elements of Group Representations
  • Abelian and Non-Abelian Gauge Theory
  • Perturbative Scattering Theory
  • Canonical Quantization & Path Integrals
  • Broken symmetries and Goldstone Bosons
Because I wish to reward hard work during the semester, I will give most weight -- 75% of your total grade -- to the homework you turn in. The rest of the 25% will be for the final.

Homework (75%):     I recommend starting your homework as soon as possible -- do not wait until the day before it is due to do it! Note: I will not accept late homework -- just turn in whatever you have done at the time/day it is due.
  1. Due Friday 5 October: Problem 8.4 & D.2 of Analytical Methods; Problem 1.1, 1.2; 2.1-2.3; 3.1-3.2 of Rotations, etc.
  2. Due Wednesday 31 October: Problem 4.40, 4.41, 4.42, 4.44, 8.11, 8.13, 8.15 of Analytical Methods; and Problem 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 of Field Theory Notes.
  3. Due Friday 23 November: 3.5, 3.10, 4.20 (Parts 1 through 3), 8.17, 8.18, 8.19, 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23, 8.24, 8.25, 8.26 of Analytical Methods; and 3.2, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11 of Field Theory Notes.
  4. Due Monday 24 December: HW 4
  5. Due Monday 7 January: HW 5
Final (25%) (Due Monday 7 January 2019, 11:59 pm):     A one semester course cannot possibly do justice to a subject as deep and broad as QFT. Pick a QFT-related subject and write a 15-20 page paper on it. Topics can include: an overview of the Standard Model of Elementary Particles (write down its full Lagrangian and explain its field content); non-perturbative aspects of QFT such as instantons, monopoles, Skyrmions, and other "topological" objects; phase transitions and quantum statistical mechanics; renormalization group and critical phenomenon; Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition; bosonization and fermionization; fractional particle numbers; fractional statistics in 2D; bound states in QFT; supersymmetry; anomalies; applications of effective field theory methods; superconductivity and broken U(1) gauge symmetry; QFT in black hole (e.g., Hawking radiation) or cosmological spacetimes (e.g., primordial gravitational wave production from quantum fluctuations); etc.

Note added: If you turn in your final report on Tuesday 8 January you will receive 80% of the credit (so if you score 20/25, you'll receive 16/25); if you do so on Wednesday 9 January you will receive 60% of the credit; and so on. If you turn in your final report on Saturday 12 January or after, you will receive 0.

By Wednesday October 17, please write to me or approach me in person to discuss the topic(s) you wish to write about.

Writing guidelines for final paper     The papers should be written in English, and the font size should be 12 points. Your writing will be judged firstly by the accuracy, breadth and depth of the content; but also by the clarity of the exposition. Make sure you cite your sources carefully and provide proper credit whenever appropriate. Turn in your papers by e-mailing them to both Jason Payne and I. If you write your paper on MS Word, please convert it to Open Office format before sending it to me. Extra credit will be given if you write your paper in LaTeX; if you do, just e-mail me your TeX file.

Lecture Notes and Additional Material
I will continue to update/edit these notes throughout the semester, so check back regularly. Do let me know if you find any errors, typos, etc.

QFT Textbooks

QFT in Curved Spacetime

QFT Lectures

(Mostly links to amazon.com -- out of convenience; not an endorsement of their business practices.)


While developing this course, I have taken inspiration from several of the textbooks & video lectures listed above.


The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of mine (Yi-Zen Chu). The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the National Central University.