Introduction to
Quantum Field Theory
FYTN10, 7.5 hp
Spring 2013

The official home page for the course is at

This homepage was for the 2013 course.

You can find the homepage of the 2014 course here

General Information

This is a 7.5 hp course on Quantum Field Theory. It is an introductory course covering essentially the first six chapters of the book by Peskin and Schroeder (see below). The course is scheduled for the first part of the semester (January 21 to March 24).


This course introduces the theoretical concepts, based on quantum mechanics and the special theory of relativity, needed to describe relativistic particles and their interactions. The course starts out with the Klein-Gordon and Dirac field equations, describing free scalar particles and fermions respectively, and their quantization. It is then shown how interactions can be included in perturbation theory and how they can be described through Feynman diagrams. These techniques are then applied mainly to calculate tree-level processes in quantum electrodynamics. The course ends with a short introduction to higher order processes and radiative corrections.


Quantum mechanics (especially time-dependent perturbation theory) at a level corresponding to FYTA12 (fundamental theoretical physics) or FYSN17 (quantum mechanics) as well as more in-depth knowledge corresponding to at least one of the courses FYTN04 (theoretical particle physics) or FYST37 (modern quantum mechanics). In addition FYTN01 (mathematical methods of physics) is recommended.


The course will consist of approximately 20 lectures (2x45min) and 4-5 problem solving sessions.

Preliminary schedule

The course will start on January 21 and then continue with 2-4 sessions per week until March 22. The introductory meeting will be 13-15 on January 21 and then the lectures will be as follows with tentative subjects
Date TimePlaceSubject Peskin and Schroeder Hand-in exercise
Mon 21/1 13-15Sal NB Introduction
Wed 23/1 10-12Sal NB Classical field theory, Noether's theorem Chapter 2.1-2.2
Fri 25/1 13-15Sal NB Klein-Gordon field, causality and progator Chapter 2.3-2.4 (7.1)
Mon 28/1 13-15Sal NB Perturbation theory and Correlation fcn's Chapter 4.1-4.2
Wed 30/1 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 2 - nr 1
Fri 1/2 13-15Sal NB Wick's theorem, Feynman diagrams Chapter 4.3-4.4
Mon 4/2 13-15Sal NB Cross-sections Chapter 4.5
Wed 6/2 10-12Sal NB S-matrix from Feynman diagrams Chapter 4.6 (7.2)
Fri 8/2 13-15Sal NB Dirac field, Weyl representation Chapter 3.1-3.2 nr 1 due
Mon 11/2 13-15Sal NB Free particle solutions, Dirac bilinears Chapter 3.3-3.4
Thu 14/2 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 4.1-4.6 - nr 2
Fri 15/2 13-15Sal NB Quantization of Dirac Field Chapter 3.5
Mon 18/2 13-15Sal NB Discrete symmetries of Dirac Field Chapter 3.6
Wed 20/2 10-12Sal NB Feynman rules for fermions Chapter 4.7 nr 2 due
Fri 22/2 13-15Sal NB Yukawa theory and QED Chapter 4.8
Mon 25/2 13-15Sal NB e+e- -> mu+mu-: introduction Chapter 5.1
Wed 27/2 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 3 and 4.7-4.8 - nr 3
Fri 1/3 13-15Sal HUB e+e- -> mu+mu-: helicity structure Chapter 5.2
Mon 4/3 13-15Sal NB Non-relativistic limit, Crossing symmetry Chapter 5.3-5.4
Wed 6/3 10-12Sal NB Compton scattering Chapter 5.5 nr 3 due
Fri 8/3 13-15Sal NB Bremsstrahlung and electron vertex correction Chapter 6.1-6.2
Mon 11/3 13-15Sal NB Problems chapter 5 - nr 4
Wed 13/3 10-12Sal NB Electron vertex correction: UV and infrared divergences Chapter 6.3-6.4
Fri 15/3 13-15Sal NB Summation and interpretation of infrared divergences Chapter 6.5
Mon 18/3 10-12 Sal NB Renormalisation and outlook Chapter 7 nr 4 due
Wed 20/3 10-12Sal NB Question and Answer session
Thu 21/3 - - Oral exams
Fri 22/3 - - Oral exams



The examination will be in the form of hand-in exercises, active participation in problem solving sessions and an oral examination at the end of the course.

Oral exam

The starting point for the oral exam is your solutions to the hand-in exercises. In addition it is assumed that you have done and understood all the problems for the problem solving sessions. Finally, regarding the higher order corrections you should have an overall understanding of the origin of real and virtual corrections, why they are divergent, and how these divergencies are dealt with both technically and physically. You can find some examples of questions on radiative corrections here. I have also to put together a more general list of questions that indicate the level I expect for the oral exam.

Note: You have to have completed all hand-in exercises successfully before the oral exam.

Course evaluation

To help us improve our courses we want you to complete a course evaluation after the examination. The evaluation is fully web-based and anonymous. The form to be filled will be made available

Results from earlier years: spring 2011 , spring 2012


The main book will be

As side-literature, any of the following books can be recommended:

Other material

Here you can find the FORM program and here is a program for calculating the leading order contribution to F2 in QED Here you can find video recordings of QFT lectures given by Sidney Cooleman at Harvard.


Please contact Johan Rathsman, Johan.Rathsman (at), 046-2223495