Modern Particle Physics

Course content

The course presents a broad and reasonably complete picture of modern particle physics. It concentrates on the Standard Model of Particle Physics with the aim of providing an overview of current experimental results and the theoretical understanding to place these results in context.

Subjects covered include:

  • Calculation of decay rates and scattering cross sections: Dirac equation, Feynman diagrams, QED, spin, chirality, Rutherford and Mott scattering, proton form factors, deep inelastic scattering, quark-parton model, parton distribution functions;
  • Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD): gluons, colour, and confinement;
  • Weak interactions: parity and chiral structure, W-boson propagator, universality, neutrinos and neutrino oscillations, CP violation and weak hadronic interactions;
  • Electroweak unification;
  • Tests of the Standard Model: Z resonance in electron-positron collisions, quantum loop corrections, the top quark;
  • The Higgs boson: Electroweak spontaneous symmetry breaking, particle masses, discovery and measurements.



MSc Programme in Physics

Learning outcome

At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to
- relate experimental results from a broad range of particle physics experiments to the theoretical framework of the Standard Model of Particle Physics;
- calculate cross sections and differential distributions in simple particle physics reactions.
The course prepares the student with a broad understanding of modern particle physics. Emphasis is on the current status of experimental results and the theoretical understanding to place these in context. The course  emphasises the fact that all theoretical knowledge in essence stems from experimental observation.

The course prepares the student with a comprehensive understanding of modern research in particle physics both experimentally and theoretically. The course prepares the student with a broad background for research in particular in the field of particle physics.

Lectures and exercise classes

See Absalon for final course material. The following is an example of expected course litterature.

Mark Thomson: "Modern Particle Physics" (Cambridge University Press).

Entry level is the curriculum corresponding to a bachelor degree in physics.
The text book used is self-contained, and assumes only a knowledge of basic
quantum mechanics and special relativity. To minimise repetitions, however,
lectures start approximately at a level corresponding to what has been covered in the
bachelor level course "Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics".
Students who have not taken this course are encouraged to read the
corresponding parts of the book as self study.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Type of assessment details
The final grade will be based on two components:
i) 6 homework assignments (33%) and
ii) 30 min oral exam (67%).

Each part of the exam is assessed individually and the final grade is given on this basis. Each part of the exam does not need to be passed separately.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More internal examiners

30 min oral exam, counting 67%. Points from the written assignments during the course may be carried over and contribute to the final 33%. If a student wishes to submit new assignments, they should contact the course responsible in order to get new problem sets. These assignments must be submitted three weeks before the oral re-exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

see learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 149
  • Theory exercises
  • 21
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
No restriction
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience
Contracting department
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Mogens Dam   (3-73707c4f7d71783d7a843d737a)

Mogens Dam

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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