Theoretical Particle Physics: Fields, Symmetries and Quantum Phenomena

Module PH1415

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

PH1415 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

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

  • Catalogue of student seminars for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics

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

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
120 h 90 h 4 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH1415 is Martin Beneke.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Seminar talks by students on current topics in theoretical particle physics with focus on classic and phenomena and effects, which are important for the understanding of particle and quantum physics. The seminar is suited for first-semester master students.

Tuesday, 16.30-18.00h, room 3343. A short introduction to the topics and the assignment of topics will take place on October 13.

Topics (winter term 2015/2016)

Path integral representation of quantum mechanics
Elementary quantisation of the electromagnetic field and lifetime
   of the hydrogen 2p level
Lamb shift
Divergence of the perturbation expansion in quantum mechanics, Borel summation, resurgent series
Casimir effect
Metastable states in quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics at finite temperature (Matsubara formalism)
Dirac/Majorana fermions, neutrino oscillations in vacuum
Landau-Zener theory, neutrino oscillations in matter
Nielsen-Olesen vortex
Topological defects: Monopoles and domain walls
Representation of symmetry groups, example of  rotations
Spontaneous symmetry breaking and Goldstone bosons
Pions and the non-linear sigma model
Supersymmetry, multiplets, Wess-Zumino model
Quantisation of the scalar field in time-dependent backgrounds:
  particle production through pre-heating
Generation of primordial cosmological perturbations in the curvature
  during inflation

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in the module the student can use the basic methods of literature retrieval, condense their knowlegde from scientific papers into a presentation and obtain presentation skills.

They have learned about recent topics in the field of research.


Quantenmechanik, wenn möglich (aber nicht zwingend) Quantenmechanik II und/oder Relativität, Teilchen Felder

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Preparation, presentation and discussion of a scientific subject, reading of scientific literature


Usually blackboard presentation, reading of scientific literature


Text books, original papers, selected specificallz for a given topic

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In the course of the seminar each student individually prepares a talk on a topic of current research. Based on this talk the learning outcome is tested.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.