Particle Physics and the Early Universe - PHYS3115

Faculty: Faculty of Science

School: School of Physics

Course Outline: School of Physics

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: (PHYS2111 or PHYS2110) and (PHYS2114 or PHYS2210) and PHYS2113

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


This course aims to provide an introduction to modern elementary particle physics from both an experimental and theoretical viewpoint, and how particle physics impacts on the structure and chemical composition of the universe. Topics to be covered include: Basic ideas of the standard model. Interaction and fields. Feynman diagrams. Yukawa theory. Cross section and decay rates. Accelerators and particle detectors. Invariance principle and conservation laws: parity, charge conjugation, time reversal, CPT. Quark model of hadron structure. Concepts of QCD and asymptotic freedom. Concepts of electroweak theory, Higgs mechanism. CP violation. Neutrino oscillations. FLRW universe: thermal history, particle decoupling. Big bang nucleosynthesis. Boltzmann equation in an FLRW universe: WIMP freeze-out, baryogensis, recombination and photon decoupling. Phase transitions. Inflation: scalar field models, Klein-Gordon equation, inflation fluctuations as seeds for structure formation. Particle physics impact on the cosmic microwave background and structure formation. Particle dark matter models. Dark matter direct and indirect detection. Dark energy and scalar field models.
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