Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16
The first half of this course provides a detailed understanding of the origin of our Universe and the equations that describe its evolution. The creation of galaxies, stars - their structure, fusion processes and life cycles will be explored along with the formation of the planets. In the second half, the fundamental nature of matter will be investigated and theoretical techniques such as Lagrangians used to understand fields. Gauge field theory as an explanation of the fundamental forces of nature and the standard model will be explained.
|Session||Second Sub Session||Credit Points||15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)|
Course content reflects the learning outcomes:
The first part of the course covers the foundations of theoretical physics: Lagrangians, perturbation theory and group theory. Lagrangians are then used to understand classical field theory and solve the Klein Gordon and Dirac equations. The gravitational field is then explained in terms of curved spacetime. Quantum field theories (such as Quantum electrodynamics) are then examined in terms of exchange particles using perturbation theory. Gauge theories, the idea of an internal space and isospin are then introduced together with the classification of particles and exchange particles according to their symmetries. Yangs Mills SU(2) theory and the concept of quarks and Gell-Mann SU(3) theory is used to explain the families of baryons and mesons. Finally, string field theories are introduced. The second half of the course covers astrophysics, addressing the topics of the evolution of the universe, galaxies, observed properties of stars, star formation and evolution and planet formation.
This course alternates with PX4516.
Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.
1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written paper (70%) and in-course assessment (30%) - two class tests. Resit: As above with the continuous assessment carried forward.
Formative assessment will be by means of dialogue with the lecturer and particularly in the problem classes.
Feedback will be immediate during the problem classes and within two weeks (usually one) for the summative class tests.