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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3543 Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics

15 creditsClass Size: 115

Module manager: Dr Robert Purdy

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 2 Physics or equivalent, PHYS3382 is recommended

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module provides an in-depth introduction to theoretical particle physics. It is a basis for further study in particle physics, astrophysics, detector physics and other areas of science and technology, which require elementary knowledge of particle physics concepts.

Learning outcomes
Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of:
1. Relativistic wave equations
2. The structure and symmetries of the Standard Model
3. Symmetry breaking
4. Feynman diagrams as a calculational tool


Classification of particles; tensor/index notation; relativistic wave equations; relativistic kinematics; gauge invariance and the gauge principle; the Standard Model of Particle Physics; symmetries and conservation laws, and broken symmetries; a brief introduction to particle physics beyond the Standard Model if time permits.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours117.00
Total Contact hours11.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

- revise lectures;
- read around material in recommended books;
- practice problem solving.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular short exercises to test understanding of most recent concepts from lectures.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentRegular coursework20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 30 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Students will have to complete an in-person exam at the end of the module. This will take place during the examinations period at the end of the semester and will be time bound. Resits will be in standard exam format.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:13


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