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Testing the Standard Model of Particle Physics 1

Module PH2044

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 WS 2019/20

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
WS 2022/3WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2044 is a semester module in German or 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.

  • 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

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 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2044 in the version of WS 2019/20 was Hubert Kroha.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an in-depth overview of the Standard Model of particle physics, covering the fundamental theory as well as past and present experiments. The lecture is structured as follows:

The Standard Model of particle physics

  1. Principles of Quantum Field Theory
  2. Symmetry Groups, gauge symmetries and interactions
  3. The fundamental forces and their unification
  4. The origin of particle masses - the Higgs mechanism
  5. Perturbation theory and Feynman graphs

Learning Outcome

With the successful participation in this module the students achieve in-depth understanding of the principles of the Standard Model of particle physics and are able to:

  • understand the role of local gauge symmetries in the description of the fundamental interactions
  • analyse the generation of elementary particle masses through spontaneous gauge symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism
  • relate theory and experiment using perturbation theory and Feynman diagrams
  • assess the principles and successes, but also the limitations and possible extensions of the Standard Model
  • understand the search for new phenomena beyond the Standard Model: Grand Unification of all interactions, supersymmetric particles, Dark Matter


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

In the lectures, the contents are presented according to topics. The basic concepts of the Standard Model of particle physics and the major experimental tests of the theoretical predictions up to the latest experiments and measurement results are explained. Special emphasis is put on the discussion of the findings with the students in order to deepen the understanding of the principles of the theory and the interconnection with the experimental tests.

In the tutorials, the understanding of the concepts widened by discussing problems and additional applications enabling the students to explain the contents and apply them in a different context.


Presentation, script. The tutorials are optional for deepening and widening of the acquired knowledge.


  • B. Povh, K. Rith, Ch. Scholz, F. Zetsche: Teilchen und Kerne, Springer, (1997)
  • Ch. Berger: Elementarteilchenphysik, Springer, (2002)
  • P. Schmueser: Feynmangraphen und Eichtheorien fuer Experimentalphysiker, Springer, (1995)
  • I.J.R. Aitchison, A.J.G. Hey: Gauge Theories in Particle Physics, Vol. 1, Institute of Physics Publishing, (2002)
  • W. Greiner, B. Mueller: Quantum Mechanics - Symmetries, 2. ed., Springer, (1994)

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, discussions of sketches and simple formulae.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Which are the fundamental particles and forces described by the Standard Model?
  • Which is the common symmetry principle of the fundamental interactions?
  • What are the consequences of the symmetries for the force mediating particles?
  • What is the role of the Higgs boson in the standard model and what is known experimentally about its properties?
  • Which experiments and measurements test the predictions of the standard model in higher orders of the perturbations theory?

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

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2045: Tests des Standardmodells der Teilchenphysik 2 / Testing the Standard Model of Particle Physics 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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