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Testing the Standard Model of Particle Physics 2

Module PH2045

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 2018

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 2023SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2045 is a semester module in German or English 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.

  • 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 PH2045 in the version of SS 2018 was Zinonas Zinonos.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Two-semester course, continuation from the previous winter semester:

1. Experimental tests of the Standard Model
1.1 Physics at the Large Hadron Collider
1.2 Search for the Higgs boson
1.3 B meson decays and the violation of the CP symmetry
1.4 Neutrino masses and neutrino oscillations
2. Search for extensions of the Standard Model
2.1 Limitations and extensions of the Standard Model
2.2 Search for unification of the fundamental interactions
2.3 Search for unification of fermions and bosons (Supersymmetry)
2.4 Search for the Dark Matter in the universe

Learning Outcome

With the successful participation in this module the student achieves in-depth understanding of the principles of the Standard Model of particle physics with particular emphasis on

- the role of local gauge symmetries in the description of the fundamental interactions,
- the generation of elementary particle masses through spontaneous gauge symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism,
- relating theory and experiment using perturbation theory and Feynman diagrams,
- the principles and successes, but also the limitations and possible extensions of the Standard Model

as well as comprehensive overview of the current main topics, experiments and results of modern particle physics with emphasis on

- current topics and results of the LHC experiments at the highest energies,
- discovery of the Higgs boson and measurement of ist properties,
- measurements of the CP violation in B meson decays and search for rare decays at B factories and at the LHC,
- measurements of neutrino oscillations and masses,
- search for new phenomena beyond the Standard Model: Grand Unification of all interactions, supersymmetric particles, Dark Matter,
- concepts and functionality of modern particle physics experiments.


No requirements in addition  to admission to the master studies.

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.


Lectures with integrated tutorials and script. The tutorials are optional for deepening and widening of the acquired knowledge. The script is handed out for the lectures.


  • 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, Springer, 2. Auflage, 1994.
  • CERN yellow reports, European Particle Physics School Lecture Notes (

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 observables measured with high precision in electron-positron collisions at the Z resonance?
  • How is the Higgs boson mass constrained in the Standard Model?
  • Explain the origin of CP violation in the Standard Model.
  • How can CP violation be measured in B meson decays?
  • How do we know that neutrinos have mass?
  • How have neutrino oscillations first been observed?
  • Give examples for open questions left by the Standard Model.
  • Give examples for extensions of the Standard Model.

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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