With Massimo Bianchi
Fundamental interactions and the ingredients of the Standard model of elementary particles.
Fundamental versus effective theories. Field theories and the principles of Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity. Probability amplitudes for decay and scattering, S-matrix. Off-the-mass-shell extension of the S-matrix, spectral representation of correlation functions and reconstruction of the physical amplitudes. Discussion of a few key elementary processes within the Standard Model and introduction of the relevant theoretical methods. The Higgs sector of the Standard model: properties and open problems. Evidence and motivation for new physics beyond the Standard model.
This course aims at providing master students interested in High Energy Theoretical Physics
with the tools needed to understand our theoretical description of the basic physical processes involving elementary particles that are subjected to electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear interactions, as well as to discuss current evidence for new physics beyond the Standard Model.
The course is taught by lectures. Discussions and digressions on specific topics triggered by
questions from the students are expected and highly welcome. The lectures will be tuned on the average preparation level of the students about elementary particle physics processes and quantum field theory.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The course should allow the students to extend and deepen their knowledge in Theoretical Physics with the goal of understanding how a theoretical model can describe experimentally observed (or observable) phenomena involving elementary particles that are subjected to electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear interactions.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
Students are expected to become able to study in a quantitative way, following also advanced books and scientific review articles, a few simple key processes (e.g. decays, scattering and resonances) in elementary particle physics.
Students should be able to critically analyse the current level of understanding of elementary
particle physics phenomena, for instance whether the description of a certain process is from first principles or merely phenomenological. To this goal they should get familiar with the effective theory approach and master the relation of effective models to (relatively more)
Students must be able to discuss a certain process involving elementary particles in a clear
and technically appropriate language, disentangling the pieces of experimental info from the
the theoretical ideas used for the phenomenological description and stressing possible weak
point in the current theoretical understanding.
Students are expected to understand the key role played by elementary particle phenomenology in the development of High Energy Physics in the last 60 years (or so), which implied a crucial cross-fertilization between theoretical ideas and experimental data, as well as to be able to employ the research methods and the pieces of technical info they learned in their subsequent activities both for the master thesis and possibly as young researchers.