Introduction to
Quantum Field Theory
FYTN10, 7.5 hp
Spring 2012

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 16 to March 20).


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 problem solving sessions.

Preliminary schedule

The course will start on January 16 and then continue with 2-4 sessions per week until March 20. The introductory meeting will be 10-12 on January 16 and then the lectures will be as follows with tentative subjects
Date TimePlaceSubject Peskin and Schroeder Hand-in exercise
Mon 16/1 10-12Sal NB Introduction
Wed 18/1 13-15Sal NB Classical field theory, Noether's theorem Chapter 2.1-2.2
Fri 20/1 13-15Sal NB Klein-Gordon field, causality and progator Chapter 2.3-2.4 (7.1)
Tue 24/1 10-12Sal NB Perturbation theory and Correlation fcn's Chapter 4.1-4.2
Wed 25/1 13-15Sal NB Problems chapter 2 -
Thu 26/1 10-12Sal NB Wick's theorem, Feynman diagrams Chapter 4.3-4.4
Fri 27/1 13-15Sal NB Cross-sections Chapter 4.5
Tue 31/1 10-12Sal NB S-matrix from Feynman diagrams Chapter 4.6 (7.2) nr 1 due
Thu 2/2 10-12Sal NB Dirac field, Weyl representation Chapter 3.1-3.2
Tue 7/2 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 4.1-4.6 -
Wed 8/2 13-15Sal NB Free particle solutions, Dirac bilinears Chapter 3.3-3.4
Thu 9/2 10-12Sal NB Quantization of Dirac Field Chapter 3.5
Fri 10/2 13-15Sal NB Discrete symmetries of Dirac Field Chapter 3.6
Tue 14/2 10-12Sal NB Feynman rules for fermions Chapter 4.7 nr 2 due
Thu 16/2 10-12Sal NB Yuakawa theory and QED Chapter 4.8
Fri 17/2 13-15Sal NB e+e- -> mu+mu-: introduction Chapter 5.1
Thu 23/2 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 3 and 4 -
Fri 24/2 13-15Sal NB Problems chapter 3 and 4, cont'd if needed -
Tue 28/2 10-12Sal NB e+e- -> mu+mu-: helicity structure Chapter 5.2 nr 3 due
Wed 29/2 13-15Sal NB Non-relativistic limit, Crossing symmetry Chapter 5.3-5.4
Thu 1/3 10-12Sal NB Compton scattering Chapter 5.5
Fri 2/3 13-15Sal NB Bremsstrahlung and electron vertex correction Chapter 6.1-6.2
Tue 6/3 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 5 -
Thu 8/3 10-12Sal NB Electron vertex correction: UV and infrared divergences Chapter 6.3-6.4
Fri 9/3 13-15Sal NB Summation and interpretation of infrared divergences Chapter 6.5 nr 4 due
Tue 13/3 10-12Sal NB Problems chapter 6 -
Fri 16/3 13-15Sal NB Question and Answer session
Mon 19/3 - - Oral exams
Tue 20/3 - - Oral exams

Problems 8may still be utpdated)


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 examination

The starting point for the oral examination 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.

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


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


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