Fall 2009 - Elementary Particle Physics
UCSB Physics 225a and UCSD Physics 214

Mondays 2:00-3:20 and Tuesdays 2:00-3:20
UCSB: Broida 5223
UCSD: CLICS, Room 260 Galbraith Hall

What this course is about

Welcome to the homepage of the 2nd joint UCSB/UCSD elementary particle physics class.

This is the first quarter of a two quarter sequence in elementary particle physics. This course is intended to give the student a broad foundation in the phenomenology of modern particle physics.

This is not intended to be a formal course in particle theory. The emphasis is on the understanding of the basic concepts as applied to real world situations and on doing simple calculations. Most students will be concurrently taking a more formal course in field theory. The expectation is that the field theory course will serve as a more formal complement to the treatment given in this class.

No previous background in particle physics is assumed. Understanding of quantum mechanics at the graduate level will be very helpful.


Lectures are given by Professor Wuerthwein from UCSD. Professor Campagnari is the contact person at UCSB. Contact information is given below.
Who Office Phone email im Office Hours
Frank Wuerthwein Mayer 5515 (UCSD) Phone: 885 774 7035 (cell) fkw at ucsd dot edu im: fkw888 at aim Monday after class (or anytime you can find him)
Claudio Campagnari Broida 5119 (UCSB) Phone: 805 893-7567 claudio at hep dot ucsb dot edu im: claudiocampagnar whenever you can find me


Announcements are usually sent out via email and archived here.


First Quarter
- General Introduction, Natural Units
- Lifetimes and branching fractions, partial widths, Breit-Wigner
- Interactions of particles with matter (very basic).
- Symmetries, Conservation Laws
- Group Theory for dummies
- Isospin, SU(3)flavor, quark model of hadrons
- Quarkonium discoveries
- Neutrino masses, mixing, and oscillations
- Electrodynamics of S=0 particles
- Cross-sections
- Review of Dirac equation (if needed)
- Electrodynamics of S=1/2 particles (QED)
- Deep inelastic scattering, parton model
- Parton distribution functions, hadronic cross-sections

Second Quarter
- Fermi Theory, V-A
- Intermediate Vector Boson idea
- GIM Mechanism
- Mixing and CP violation (K, D, and B systems)
- Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, Goldstone Bosons, Higgs Bosons
- Electroweak Theory, SU(2)xU(1)
- Precision electroweak tests
- Standard Model Higgs Phenomenology: mass, naturalness, production mechanisms, decay modes, experimental prospects
- Taking a stroll through the dominant standard model processes at the LHC
- 2 Higgs Doublet Models


The textbook is Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics by Halzen and Martin. This is an excellent book at about the right level for this course. The main problem with it is that it is 20 years old, so many of the new developments in particle physics are missing. We will provide additional material to supplement it.
In addition, we recommend that you obtain a copy of the Review of Particle Physics. This includes a comprehensive compilation of data on particle physics as well as short review articles and miscellaneous other useful stuff. The Review of Particle Physics is published every two years (on even years). It can be obtained for free from the Particle Data Group (PDG). While you wait for the PDG to send your very own copy, you may be able to borrow an older copy from your instructor (just ask). Note also that the content of the Review of Particle Physics is also available online from the PDG website.

Other books that you might find useful include (these are on reserve at Science and Engineering library at UCSD):

Links to Additional Material

These will be added as time goes on. Please chack this section of the web page often.

Whenever possible we provide links that can be accessed without passwords or subscriptions. Unfortunately this is not always possible, since sometime the only available link is to the electronic version of the journal where the paper was published. For copyright reasons we are not allowed to post these papers directly on our website. However, UCSB and UCSD have electronic subscriptions to most Physics journals, and if you work on a machine with a ucsb.edu or ucsd.edu domain you should be able to get to the paper without any problem. If you are trying to access the paper from home, while logged on through a commercial ISP, you may encounter problems. However, if you are a UCSB student there are ways to setup your browser to circumvent these issues, see the instructions posted

Lecture Notes

We are promised the technical capability for me to put ppt file on the screen, and write on top of it. I thus encourage you to do the same, print out the sldies ahead of time, and scribble on top.

Student Presentations

As a complement to the normal lectures, we will have each student give one roughly 30min presentation. This presentation will contribute 20% to your grade. The remainder is 30% homework, and 50% for the take-home final. The first set of these presentations will happen during the lecture on Tuesday, October 27th. I encourage you to pick a topic asap. You should think of these as serious mini research projects, documented by a talk instead of a term paper. I will want to review each presentation at least one week prior to it being given.

I've listed 10 topics below, thus giving you some choice.