Fachbereich Physik und Astronomie

Additional Courses and Seminars

Particle Physics I

Course description

This lecture deals with a selection of special topics in particle physics. In the first part of this course the foundations of the Standard Model are laid out: starting from basic principles from quantum field theory and asking for gauge invariance, the SU(2)xU(1) Yang-Mills structure of the electroweak sector of the Standard Model is considered. This leads to (massless) fermions and (massless) gauge-bosons, that, after appropriate mixing and fixing of the U(1) hyper-charges are identified with the photon 𝛾, the W± and the Z0. Special emphasis is given to the understanding of the electro-weak couplings of Z bosons to left- and right-handed fermions, from which the the branching ratios of Z bosons decaying to fermions can be estimated at tree-level. The Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism is then discussed, which allows the gauge bosons to acquire mass and fermions via coupling to the Higgs field to become massive. Finally the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC (and specifically with ATLAS) will be presented.
In the second part of this course, the interaction of particles in matter are discussed which are the base of how particles can be detected and measured precisely using various experimental techniques.


  • Modern Particle Physics
    Mark Thomson, Cambridge University Press, 2013
  • An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics
    W.N. Cottingham & D.A. Greenwood, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 2007
  • The Standard Model of Electroweak Interactions
    A. Pich, https://arxiv.org/abs/1201.0537
  • The Particle Data Booklet
    Particle Data Group (PDG)