Particle Physics

Subject PHYC90011 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours comprising 3 one-hour lectures/week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Jeffrey Mccallum



Subject Overview:

Particle Physics is the study of the elementary constituents of matter, and the fundamental forces of nature. The subject introduces modern elementary particle physics, with an emphasis on the theoretical description of the Standard Model of Particle Physics and its experimental basis. Specific topics may include basic group theory; parity and CP violation; global and local symmetries; non-abelian gauge theory; QCD and the quark model; running coupling constants and asymptotic freedom; spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism; the complete Standard Model Lagrangian; interactions of particles with matter; accelerators and detectors; deep inelastic scattering and structure functions; flavour mixing and neutrino oscillations.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are:

  • to introduce the experimental motivation and theoretical framework of the Standard Electroweak theory and QCD;
  • to understand the role that global and local symmetries play in modern elementary particle physics and to become acquainted with the concept of symmetry breaking;
  • to develop tools to enable the quantitative calculation of tree-level electroweak cross-sections;
  • to provide a foundation for more advanced studies in particle physics.

Up to four assignments totalling up to 36 pages of written work (20%), spaced equally during the semester, plus one four-hour end-of-semester written examination (80%).

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject, students should have gained skills in:

  • analysing how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
  • applying abstract concepts to real-world situations;
  • solving relatively complicated problems using approximations;
  • participating as an effective member of a group in discussions and collaborative assignments;
  • managing time effectively in order to be prepared for group discussions and undertake the assignments and exam.
Related Course(s): Master of Science (Physics)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Approved Masters level subjects from other departments

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