This document is the syllabus for the PHY 396T Advanced Supersymmetry course as taught in Spring 2006 by Dr. Vadim Kaplunovsky; unique number 59535. This is a special topics course, it isn't offered every year or every other year, and the content varies each time. In particular, this year's course is more advanced than those taught in 2000/01 or 1994/5.

Required Knowledge

The Advanced Supersymmetry course is aimed at students who have already taken two semesters of Quantum Field Theory, and then spent at least half a semester studying «Basic Supersymmetry» by themselves. Effectively, the Advanced SUSY class is QFT 3½.

Quantum Field Theory

Solid knowledge of QFT is essential for understanding SUSY. However it's your knowledge that matters and not how or where you've acquired it. Hence, there are no formal prerequisites to the SUSY class, but you must know QFT.

Basic Supersymmetry

Basic SUSY at the Wess & Bagger level (without supergravity) is a perfect subject for independent study from a textbook. It's wasteful to spend class time on this material instead of more interesting advanced subjects. Thus, I request that before the class starts in January 2006, the students study the following material by themselves:

In terms of textbooks (see below) and their chapters, this material corresponds to:

All three books cover similar subjects but differ in emphasis and detailedness. I suggest you start with the Argyres's notes and study them in detail, and then browse through Wess & Bagger (or the Superspace book, chapters 2–3) to familiarize yourself with the Weyl-spinor notations I shall use in class. And if you need a more detailed explanation of some subject, look it up in the Weinberg's book, it has everything and more.

Course Content

I plan to spend most of the class time will be spend on the following subjects:

I might say a few words about supergravity, but I will not cover it in any detail.


This course does not follow any particular book, but the following textbooks will be very useful:

Homeworks, Exams and Grades

The homeworks for this course will be assigned in class. Typically, I would ask you to complete (or work out the details of) a calculation began (or sketched out) in class or to read some peripheral-but-interesting material in a textbook or a review article. The homeworks are assigned on the honor system, they will not be graded. Cooperation is encouraged as long as every student thoroughly understands the whole work. (Unlike in the QFT classes I taught before) I will not post solutions on the web, so please check each other's work.

The grade will be based on two take-home exams, one in the middle of the semester, the other at the end. Unlike the homeworks, the exams must be done by individual students without any help from anybody else! There won't be an in-class final exam.



Last Modified: September 8, 2006.
Vadim Kaplunovsky