Quantum Field Theory II

The Introduction to Quantum Field Theory is a two-semester course. Content-wise, this is a continious 29-week long course, but for administrative purposes it is split in two:

  • PHY 396 K -- Quantum Field Theory I, usually taught in the Fall, and
  • PHY 396 L -- Quantum Field Theory II, usually taught in the Spring.
  • Physics-wise, the split is rather arbitrary, so the students interested in the Quantum Field Theory should take both halves of the course.

    In the academic year 1998/99, Dr. Vadim Kaplunovsky teaches both semesters of the Quantum Field Theory course. This document is the syllabus for the second semester, i.e., PHY 396L course (unique #55360) taught in the Spring of 1999.

    Note that future offering of the Quantum Field Theory course may vary.

    Course Content

  • Radiative Corrections in QED and Renormalization Theory: Electron's magnetic moment; infrared and ultraviolet divergences of loop graphs; field renormalization and the reduction formula; the optical theorem; Ward identity; electric charge renormalization; systematics of renormalization; renormalized perturbation theory at the one-loop level and at higher orders.
  • Functional Quantization and the Renormalization Group: Path integrals in QM; `path' integrals for fields; QFT and Statistical Mechanics; functional quantization of gauge and fermionic fields; `integration out' and the Wilsonian renormalization; Callan-Symanzik equation and `running' of the coupling constants.
  • Non-Abelian Gauge Theories: Non-abelian gauge symmetries; Yang-Mills theory; interactions of gauge bosons and Feynman rules; Fadde'ev-Popov ghosts; BRST; the divergence structure; asymptotic freedom; the Standard Model.
  • Textbooks

    The primary textbook for this course (both semesters) is An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Michael Peskin and Daniel Schroeder. To a large extent, the course is based on this book and thus should follow it fairly closely (but don't expect a 100% match!).

    Since both the course and the main textbook are introductory in nature, many questions would be left an-answered. The best reference book for finding the answers is The Quantum Theory of Fields by Steven Weinberg. This two-volume book is based on a two-year course Dr. Weinberg used to teach here at UT -- but of course it also contains much additional material. To a first approximation, Weinbergs book teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about QFT and more -- which is unfortunately way too much for a one-year intoductory course.

    I have told the campus bookstore that I use Peskin's book as a textbook for both semesters, Weinberg's vol.1 as a supplementary texbook for the Fall semester and vol.2 as a supplementary textbook for the Spring. I hope the store have stocked the books accordingly, but you should buy them while the supply lasts.

    Homeworks and Grades

    The homeworks are assigned on the honor system. I shall not collect or grade the homeworks, but you should endeavor to finish them on time and check each other's solutions. Note that the homeworks are absolutely essential for understanding the course material. Often, due to the time pressure, I will explain the general theory in class and leave the examples for the homework assignment; if you do not work them out by yourself, you would not really understand what I was talking about in class! Be warned: The homeworks will be very hard.

    The grades will be based on two take-home test, one at the middle of the semester, the other at the end. Each test will account for 50% of the final grade. There will be no in-class final exam.



  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM, room RLM-5.114.
  • Wednesdays, from 1 to 2 PM, room RLM-5.116.
  • Four (4) hours a week altogether.
  • Office Hours

  • Office Location: RLM-9.304.
  • Hours: Thursday, 2 to 3:30 (PM). Or any late afternoon.
  • Virtual hours for administrivia: E-mail to vadim@physics.utexas.edu. Please do not ask physics questions via e-mail.

  • Last Modified: December 9, 1998.
    Vadim Kaplunovsky