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Theoretical Particle Physics

Module PH1005

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.

Module version of SS 2022 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2016WS 2013/4WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH1005 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

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

  • Theory 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)
300 h 90 h 10 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH1005 is Nora Brambilla.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Construction, structure and symmetries of the Standard Model of Particle Physics
  • Electroweak symmetry breaking and Higgs physics
  • Quantumchromodynamics and elementary strong interaction processes
  • Flavour physics and flavor mixing
  • Elements of neutrino physics
  • Overview of physics beyond the Standard Model

Learning Outcome

After taking part in this course the student has acquired the most updated knowledge of the Standard Model of theoretical particle physics and its problems, and acquired the tools to start a master work in theoretical particle physics with emphasis on phenomenology.

The student is able to

1. write down the full Standard-Model Lagrangian, and understand the field content and the structure of every term in it.

2. derive the transformation properties of the terms in the Standard Model Lagrangian under C, P, T, and global symmetries, and derive conservation laws from symmetry principles.

3. derive the Feynman rules in the Standard Model, draw Feynman diagrams for any given process allowed in the Standard Model, and perform perturbative calculations to one loop using the Feynman rules and dimensional regularization.

4. describe electroweak symmetry breaking in terms of the Higgs mechanism, derive consequences of different patterns of electroweak symmetry breaking, and derive consequences of the custodial symmetry and its violation.

5. describe quark mixing in terms of the CKM matrix, and derive GIM suppression in processes with flavor-changing neutral currents.

6. derive the chiral anomaly equation, the cancellation of the gauge anomalies and the violation of the baryon number and the lepton number in the Standard Model.

7. describe the strong CP problem and its possible solutions.

8. calculate CP violating observables in the mixing and decays of neutral kaons and B mesons, and their relation to the CKM matrix.

9. describe the main production and decay channels of the Higgs boson at the LHC.

10. describe the quantum corrections to the Higgs mass and the Higgs potential, the stability of the vacuum, and the hierarchy problem.

11. describe neutrino oscillations in terms of the masses of the neutrinos, derive possible mass terms of the neutrinos, and explain neutrino masses via the seesaw mechanism.


"Relativity, Particle and Fields" course and/or the "Quantum Field Theory"
course or some general knowledge of Quantum Field Theory.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 4 Theoretical Particle Physics Brambilla, N. Tue, 12:00–14:00, GALILEO Taurus
Thu, 08:30–10:00, GALILEO Taurus
and singular or moved dates
UE 2 Tutorial to Theoretical Particle Physics Mohapatra, A.
Responsible/Coordination: Brambilla, N.
singular or moved dates
and dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

The lectures focus on both concepts and technical details, as well as comparisons to the most up-to-date experimental data. Exercise sheets are assigned to the students for both deepening their understanding of the lecture materials and hands-on experience of calculations. Exercise sheets are discussed in the tutorial classes, in which students present their own solutions to the exercise sheets in detail on the blackboard.


blackboard, sometimes with slides.


  • B. Martin and G. Shaw, Particle Physics, Wiley, 2008.
  • D. Griffith, Introduction to Elementary Particle, Wiley-VCH 2008.
  • F. Halzen and A. Martin, Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics, 1984, John Wiley and Sons
  • O. Nachtmann, Elementary Particle Physics, Springer-Verlag 1990.
  • M. Peskin and D. Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, Addison Wesley, 1995.
  • C. Burgess and G. Moore, The Standard Model: A Primer, Cambridge University Press 2007
  • J. F. Donoghue, E. Golowich, and B. R. Holstein, Dynamics of the standard model, vol. 2, Camb. Monogr. Part. Phys. Nucl. Phys. Cosmol., 1992.
  • T. Cheng, L. Li, Gauge Theory of Elementary Particle Physics, Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • R. K. Ellis, W. J. Stirling, B.R. Webber, QCD and Collider Physics, Camb. Monogr. Part. Phys. Nucl. Phys. Cosmol., 1996

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be a written exam of 120 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using calculation problems and comprehension questions.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Derive the transformation of a given operator under C, P, T.
  • Show anomaly cancellation in a given gauge theory.
  • Compute observables for CP violation.

In the exam no learning aids are permitted.

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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