Download Ph621 Syllabus and Course Information

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Ph595 Course Information and Syllabus
Instructor: Al Stetz, Office: Weniger 371, Telephone: 737-1698, E-Mail:
[email protected]
Office Hours: Before and after class; other times by appointment.
I will post homework assignments solutions, and other material of interest.
Prerequisites: A good knowledge of undergraduate quantum mechanics. None of this
makes any sense without quantum mechanics.
Textbooks: Introduction to Elementary Particles, Second, Revised Edition by David
Exams: There will be a midterm exam and a final, both rather conventional in format.
Homework: I will give regular homework assignments. The problems will be posted on
the website together (eventually) with their solutions.
Grades (or “measurable student outcomes” in the terrible argot of the campus
bureaucrats): Your final grade will be based on the average of the midterm (25%), the
homework (25%), and the final (50%). Letter grades are calculated as follows: 80% to
100% for an A, and 60% to 80% for a B. I do not “grade on a curve.” Since this course is
open both to undergraduates and graduate students, it is required that I make the graduate
students work harder and more brilliantly. We will see!
Lectures: I will follow Griffiths in a rough sort of way, that is, I will cover roughly the
same material in roughly the same order. I will always try to use his notation, and the
homework assignments will be taken from the book. I must warn you however, Griffiths
and I are both very eccentric. We have strong ideas about what things should be
presented and at what level of difficulty. Another warning – Griffiths is a master of the
non-explanation. (“I can’t derive this, but really, nothing could be simpler.”) I will try to
do better. So there is no substitute for attending class and taking careful notes. The exams
will cover only the material presented in class.
Course Schedule: Neils Bohr (among many other people) is supposed to have said,
“Prediction is difficult, especially with regard to the future.” I have never taught this
course before, so to some extent I will be making it up as I go along. Here, however, is a
tentative list of what I will be covering in the next few weeks and the corresponding
sections in the text. I will update this schedule as we go along.
Introduction: Units, accelerators, detectors,
and a guided tour of the elementary particle
Relativity and kinematics
Symmetries and quarks
Scattering and an introduction to Feynman
Griffiths, Chapters 1 and 2
Chapter 8
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
According to university regulations, all courses must be accompanied by a syllabus with
a lot of prescribed information. For example, I am supposed to say something about
students with disabilities. Here is the standard mantra. “Accommodations are
collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Disability Access Services (DAS).
Students with accommodations approved through DAS are responsible for contacting the
faculty member in charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the term to
discuss accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but
who have not yet obtained approval through DAS should contact DAS immediately at
I am also supposed to say something about academic honesty. I’m sure none of you
would cheat during an exam. This has never been a problem in our graduate classes.
Cheating on homework assignments is a more difficult call. I expect (and hope) that you
will confer among yourselves about the assignments. Simply copying your friends’ work
is unacceptable. (I once had a student copy my own solutions which he found on the web
somewhere!) There is a grey area between these two extremes. Please stay on the safe
At any rate, the university’s views on this are spelled out in the following: