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MPhys Physics with Astrophysics / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Frontiers of Particle Physics I

Unit code PHYS40521
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Physics & Astronomy
Available as a free choice unit? No


Frontiers of Particle Physics 1


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Applications of Quantum Physics PHYS30101 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics PHYS30121 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Mathematical Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics PHYS30201 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Particle Physics PHYS40222 Pre-Requisite Recommended

Follow - Up Units

PHYS40722 - Frontiers of Particle Physics 2


1. To provide a review of modern-day particle physics experiments, and the physics they aim to address.
2. To provide a suitable introduction to experimental methods commonly used in particle physics for students who will undertake research in the subject.

Learning outcomes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates

On completion successful students will be able to:
1. Identify the three experimental particle physics frontiers, and define their objectives.

2. Describe the facilities commonly used by experimental particle physicists.

3. Explain qualitative and quantitative techniques applied to particle physics experiments.

4. Judge the significance of recent and current results in the main areas of particle physics (QCD, EWK, BSM) in the wider context of past and present particle physics experiments.

5. Describe experiments planned for the near future and explain their significance.


1. Introduction to modern particle physics experiments
Standard Model and the three particle physics frontiers
Particle properties and experimental methods in particle physics
Modern-day experiments
Data analysis, statistics, and Monte Carlo techniques

2. Physics at the high energy frontier
Partons and QCD
Electroweak gauge bosons (W and Z bosons)
Top quark physics
The discovery of the Higgs boson
Standard Model: successes and limitations
Searches for physics beyond the Standard Model
Future Colliders

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 33%
Written exam 67%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be available on students’ individual written solutions to examples sheets, which will be marked, and model answers will be issued.

Recommended reading

Martin, B. & Shaw, G., Particle Physics, (3rd ed.) (Wiley)
Leo, W. R., Techniques for Nuclear and Particle Physics Experiments (Springer)
Thomson, M., Modern Particle Physics (Cambridge University Press)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 74.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Yvonne Peters Unit coordinator
Alexander Oh Unit coordinator

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