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From Quarks to Hadrons: Deep-Inelastic Scattering and Parton Model

Module PH2202

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 2021/2 (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
WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8SS 2014

Basic Information

PH2202 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered irregular.

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 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2202 is Jan Friedrich.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The complex phenomenology of strong interacting particles had led in 1964 to the hypothesis of quarks, which was confirmed beginning of the 1970s by electron scattering off the quarks. The module starts from the properties of the quarks as Dirac particles, and the observable cross sections are linked to quark distribution functions, from which follows their determination by the experiment. Focus is on recent experiments, as electron scattering at DESY and myon scattering at CERN, in which the spin structure and correlations between kinematic parameters of the bound quarks are studied. The goal of the module is to give an insight to the quark-gluon structure of the nucleons.

Learning Outcome

  • With successful completion of the module the students are able to:
  • develop an overview over quark distribution functions
  • understand the theoretically formulated sum rules for the distribution functions and their experimental tests
  • gain insight in more complex correlation functions, e.g. for transverse degrees of freedom

 It may also prepare a productive and competent work within such a complex experiment.


Successful participation in a particle and quantum physics module (e.g. PH0016) is recommended but not obligatory. 

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module consists of a thematically structured lecture, which leads from general properties of bound particles to effective quantities, with analogies to atomic physics. By frequent encouragement of feedback, the students are motivated to explore the line of thought themselves, and scientific argumentation is exercised. In dedicated exercises, the understanding of the mathematical relations are deepened by using the program package "root", which is either only presented or offered to be reproduced on the student's laptops, upon interest. Important scientific developments are highlighted by a detailed study of original literature.


Slides, smartboard, moodle


  • A.W. Thomas & W. Weise: The Structure of the Nucleon, esp. chapter 4, Wiley-VCH, (2001)
  • B. Povh, K. Rith, C. Scholz & F. Zetsche: Particles and Nuclei: An Introduction to the Physical Concepts, Springer, (2006)
  • F. Halzen, A.D. Martin: Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics, Wiley, (1984)

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:

  • How was proven experimentally that there is scattering off quarks, and what are the relevant kinematic quantities?
  • Which sum rule gives, by its violation, indications for a more complex interaction of the quarks than the usual structure functions assume?
  • Which kind of measurement enables to explore the relation of form factors and structure functions, in how far are they two different ways to look at the same object?

Exam Repetition

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

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