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PX430 Gauge Theories

This web page contains the handouts available in lectures, and some supplementary material.

Please inform me if you find any typos, etc. (email
Your feedback on the module and suggestions on how to improve it would also be greatly appreciated.

The notes summarise the material covered in lectures. They are not intended to replace a good textbook, but to help in revision.

  • Introductory handout (pdf)
  • Handout 1: Revision, Notation and The Gauge Principle (pdf)
  • Handout 2: An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (pdf)
  • Handout 3: Gauge Invariance in Quantum Field Theory (pdf)
  • Handout 4: Interactions in QED (pdf)
    Calculation of electron position annihilation to muon pair (pdf)
  • Handout 5: Non-Abelian Gauge Symmetries (pdf)
  • Handout 6: Electroweak Theory, Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking and Gauge Theories Beyond the Standard Model (pdf)

Working through the questions in the handouts, making use of the recommended texts, will provide excellent preparation for the examination. Past papers are also available (from the undergraduate office or online).

To assist you with this, the following resources are available:

  • Selected answers to questions from Handouts 1-3 (pdf)

An interesting article that discusses, at a fairly general level, some of the issues raised in this module has recently been published in Physics Education. You can find it here. [NB. You should be able to access the journal pages via the electronic subscription of the library.]

Further reading on the Casimir effect can be found in a recent article in Physics Today. A much more detailed review by the same author can be found in S.K. Lamoreaux Rep. Prog. Phys. 68 201 (2005). Casimir's original article can be found courtesy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Digital Library. This is, remarkably, still an active area of research, as witnessed by a recent special edition of the New Journal of Physics ("Focus on Casimir Forces"). Here's another review on the subject in RMP.

Among other original texts that may be of interest: