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Physics of Elementary Particles


Admission Requirements
Speciale Relativiteitstheorie, Klassieke Mechanica a, Classical Electrodynamics and Quantum Mechanics 2

This course introduces the current understanding of elementary particles and their interactions.

It starts with atoms, nuclei, nucleons and builds up towards a description of the Standard Model of Particle Physics. It introduces the known fundamental particles and provides a basic overview of the strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions as well as the conservation laws and symmetries in particle interactions. The course will also introduce the relevant tools and methods to experimentally investigate on the particles and their interactions.

The course covers the following topics:
Fundamental particles and interactions
Symmetries and conservation laws
Accelerators and Detectors
Particle interactions with matter
Scattering and decay processes and kinematics
Nuclear decays and kinematics
Form factors/Deep inelastic Scattering/Structure functions
Quark model of hadrons/strong interaction
Feynman diagrams
Weak interaction
Neutrino oscillations

Course objectives
After successfully completing this course you will be able to explain the topics listed above and can apply the concepts that are involved.
In particular you will be able to:
explain different nuclear models and calculate energy balances in nuclear decays
calculate the kinematics in particle decays and scattering
describe all known fundamental particles with their characteristics
describe the quark model and mixing
describe the characteristics of particle interactions (electromagnetic, weak, strong)
sketch Feynman diagrams of basic particle interactions
identify the associated interaction in a scattering or decay
explain the notion of Parity and Charge Conjugation and impact in particle interactions
explain the concept of helicity and chirality and impact in particle interactions
explain different detection methods used for particle physics experiments and judge in which cases those are appropriate
associate signals in a detector with distinct particle interactions


Mode of instruction
Exercise sessions
Excursion to Nikhef – National institute for Subatomic Physics (voluntary)

Assessment method
Written exam with short questions and calculations.

Lectures and exercises will be available on blackboard
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list
Mandatory books:
1.Introduction to Elementary Particle Physics, David Griffith
2.Particles and Nuclei – An introduction to the Physical Concepts, Bogdan Povh, Klaus Rith, Christoph Scholz, Frank Zetsche, 7th edition, 2015

Contact: Maarten de Jong