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Quantum Field Theory - MAT00048M

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  • Department: Mathematics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Henning Bostelmann
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

To introduce relativistic quantum field theory, which is the mathematical framework currently used to describe the fundamental interactions of nature (electromagnetism, weak and strong interactions), excluding gravity.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the formulation of relativistic field theory.

  • Understand the Dirac equation as the equation for electrons and positrons.

  • Understand how quantum fields give rise to what we see as particles.

  • Have a rough idea about how interactions between particles are described by quantum field theory.

Module content


  • Elementary particles and their interactions (brief survey).

  • Symmetries and conservation laws; Noether’s theorem.

  • Field quantisation and particle interpretation; real or complex scalar fields.

  • The Dirac equation.

  • Quantisation of the Dirac field.

  • Quantisation of the Maxwell field, Interactions.

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Quantum Field Theory
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Quantum Field Theory
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Current Department policy on feedback is available in the student handbook. Coursework and examinations will be marked and returned in accordance with this policy.

Indicative reading

  • M E Peskin and D V Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, Westview Press (U 0.143 PES)
  • M Srednick, Quantum Field Theory, Cambridge University Press

  • A Zee, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, Princeton University Press 2003 (U 0.143 ZEE)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.