Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3030 Particle Physics

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr J Lloyd-Evans

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06


PHYS2080 (Subatomic Physics), PHYS2042 (Quantum Mechanics) or equivalents

This module is approved as an Elective


By the end of this module you should be able to:
- explain nuclear stability criteria and interpretation in terms of the strong and weak forces;
- classify particle interactions according to conservation laws and exchange bosons;
- describe and interpret the fundamental experiments undertaken in 20th century particle physics;
- describe in detail the concepts and experimental verifications of the particle physics "standard model";
- appreciate recent attempts to extend the standard model towards force unification.


Aims of the course: quarks and gluons; leptons and photons. Revision of binding energy/nuclear vs A: significance of 4He, 12C, 16O. Saturation and range of nuclear force: size of nuclear charge and matter distribution. Charge and matter distribution. Strength of nuclear force. Revision of nuclear charge density. Nucleon distribution and neutron skin: charge exchange: introduction to Yukawa's ideas. Yukawa potential: concept of virtual particle: charge independence and three pions: prediction of beta-decay: discovery of muon and pion. Klein-Gordon equation: Dirac equation for spin = ½ particles: magnetic moments of proton and neutron: negative energy states: hole theory and discovery of the positron. Introduction to Feynman diagrams. Electron-scattering: order of Feynman diagrams: rates of e+e- annihilation: exchange of massive particle: range for electromagnetic strong and weak interactions. Lepton generations: conservation of lepton number. Neutrinos: cross-section estimates by Fermi. Davis's attempts to detect reactor neutrinos: Cowan and Reines experiment. Detection of neutrinos from SN1987A. Three neutrino types. Resonance Particles. Spins of bosons and fermions. Isotopic spin. Parity. Kaons and hyperons. Tau-theta paradox. Wu and Ambler experiment to demonstrate parity non-conservation. Helicity of neutrino and electron. K, lambda lifetime anomaly. Associated production and strangeness: J^P patterns of SU(3). SU(3) patterns in terms of quarks: properties of quarks, including masses for u, d and s. Successes of quark theory: known strongly interacting particles and magnetic moments. Quark colour. Interaction of quarks via gluon exchange. Quark confinement. Quark colours and the hadron to muon event ratio in e+ e- collisions. Discovery of J/Psi Upsilon and bottom quark. Discovery of tau-lepton: quark and lepton patterns. Review of known leptons and quarks: components of the standard model: unification of electromagnetic and weak interaction. LEP studies of Z^0-mass and number of neutrino types. Elementary review of grand unified theory. Overview of course.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour.

Private study

Reading, revision and problem sheets: 78 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

3 problem sheets.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour written examination at the end of the first semester: 100%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/04/2005


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019