20326 The Physics of Elementary Particles
Credits: 3 advanced seminar credits in Physics
Prerequisites: 36 credits in Physics and Mathematics, including Mechanics, Modern Physics and one of the following: Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Structure or Quantum Theory I. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.
Recommended: Analytical Mechanics
The course is based on chapters from Introduction to Elementary Particles, by D.J. Griffiths (John Wiley & Sons, 1987).
The study of elementary particles is considered today to be one of the major frontiers of research in physics. Discoveries in this field help to examine the basic laws of physics and to formulate new theories. The course acquaints students with research methods and the concepts used in the field, after which students write a seminar paper on a topic in elementary particle physics, guided by a supervisor. In most cases, the paper is based on articles in English or on other chapters in the textbook. Students then lecture on their papers. The course includes two mandatory one-day workshops or tutorial sessions held on the Open University campus.
Topics: Historical introduction to the elementary particles; Introduction to lifetimes; Scattering and cross-sections; Elementary particle dynamics – kinds of forces, conservation laws, classification: quarks, leptons, hadrons; Relativistic kinematics; Symmetries – orbital angular momentum and spin, isospin and flavor symmetries, parity, charge conjugation, time reversal; Bound states – the quark model, positronium, quarkonium, mesons and bayrons.