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Theoretical Methods for QCD at Colliders

Module NAT3003

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

NAT3003 is a semester module in language at which is offered irregularly.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Specialization Modules in Elite-Master Program Theoretical and Mathematical Physics (TMP)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 45 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module NAT3003 is Lorenzo Tancredi.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This course provides an introduction to Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) focusing on theoretical methods to study its pertubative aspects and their application to the physics of hadron colliders like the LHC. Starting from the idea of collinear factorization, the course will introduce the main theoretical ideas required to study and model high energy scattering processes with high precision at hadron colliders, by applying them explicitly to the Drell-Yan process and to Higgs production in gluon fusion at the LHC. The main topics covered will be:

  1. The QCD Lagrangian, quantization and Feynman rules 
  2. Asymptotic freedom and (collinear) factorization
  3. QCD calculations at Leading Order (LO), spinor helicity formalism
  4. Virtual corrections: modern methods for (multi) loop calculations
  5. Real corrections: Infrared singularities and their subtraction to NLO
  6. Parton evolution and Parton distributions functions (PDFs)
  7. Basics of resummation
  8. If time permits: basics of parton showers

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module the students are able to understand and model processes that happen at hadronic colliders. For example the students will be able to

  1. Compute tree-level and one-loop amplitudes in QCD
  2. Describe the parton model and parton evolution in perturbative QCD
  3. Describe the pattern of infrared singularities in QCD up to NLO
  4. Model the transverse momentum distribution of a colorless final state at the LHC 
  5. Understand the theoretical ideas behind precision calculations for hadron colliders beyond LO


The course will assume some familiarity with standard ideas described in Quantum Field Theory 1 (Feynman rules in QED, basics of scattering amplitudes and cross-sections)

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Theoretical Methods for QCD at Colliders Tancredi, L. Thu, 08:30–10:00, PH 3344
UE 1 Exercise to Theoretical Methods for QCD at Colliders
Responsible/Coordination: Tancredi, L.
dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

Blackboard frontal lectures and tutorials


Blackboard lectures, possibly but not necessarily with use of slides to show complicated results


  • Lectures on LHC Physics, T. Plehn,
  • QCD and Collider Physics, R.K. Ellis, W.J. Stirling and B.R. Webber
  • Quantum Chromodynamics, G. Dissertori, I.G. Knowles, M. Schmelling
  • Collider Physics within the Standard Model, G. Altarelli

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Describe the origin of IR divergences in QCD
  • Explain the basics of resummation
  • Compute a simple QCD amplitude
  • Describe parton evolution

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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