



Courses of the Masters Program Theoretical Physics 2012/2013To be confirmed a.s.a.p.
Courses of the Masters Program Theoretical Physics 2011/2012
Period 1 and 2 (week 37  05)
Period 3 and 4 (week 06  25)
For more information on the TP Master program, please check the study program webpage. You can find the examination dates here. The course schedules and classrooms can be found here.
Quantum field theories emerged from the confluence of quantum mechanics and special relativity, and provide an amazingly accurate theoretical framework for describing the behaviour of subatomic particles and forces. This course will give an introduction into quantum field theory, both conceptually and technically. Canonical and covariant quantization methods will be discussed, with an emphasis on the path integral formulation, which finds manifold applications in both particle physics and condensed matter systems. Topics covered include the quantummechanical path integral, the quantization of bosonic and fermionic fields, functional techniques involving generating functionals and correlators, and perturbation theory in terms of Feynman diagrams.
The course gives an introduction to the use of fieldtheoretical methods for a description of the equilibrium properties of manybody systems. The effects of both classical and quantum fluctuations are treated by methods involving manybody wave functions, diagrammatic expansions, and HubbardStratonovich transformations. Particular topics discussed include Debye screening and plasma oscillations, Landau theory of phase transitions, superfluidity, superconductivity, and ferromagnetism.
This course is an introduction to the theory of General Relativity at an advanced level. Its aim is to convey the fundamental geometric concepts of the theory and the techniques required to express them quantitatively. We will study a number of important physical phenomena for which general relativity provides a theoretical description, including gravitational radiation, black holes and cosmological applications. N.B.: This course not in combination with Gen.Rel. in Astroph.(NSAP431M)
Density Functional Theory (DFT) is now a standard tool for describing i) the manybody physics of electron liquids (fermions) and ii) the properties of classical liquids starting from a microscopic basis one that starts with atoms or molecules (or ‘particles’ such as colloids) and the interactions between these building blocks of condensed matter. These lectures will provide an elementary introduction to electronic DFT before describing DFT methods in the classical statistical physics of liquids and their applications to phase transitions and fluid interfacial phenomena. Basic familiarity with equilibrium statistical mechanics (partition function, ensembles) is assumed but otherwise the course is selfcontained.
The objective of the Student Seminar is acquainting the students with the setting in which research is done. The students work through assignments and literature in an interactive and collaborative manner. This is done in plenary discussion sessions and/or small working groups. Furthermore, the students give presentations of their work.
During the speakers' seminar, which is organized biweekly at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, international experts will present contemporary research. The colloquium has to be attended at least 18 times in order to pass. Even though the colloquium speakers are well aware that master students make up a considerable fraction of their audience, the level of the colloquium is often unavoidably high. In order to optimise the student's benefit and understanding of the colloquia, a preparatory presentation by an ITP staff member will (often) be organised in which background information, history of the subject, or other relevant material will be informally discussed with the students. Attending this meeting, which will be scheduled at 15.00h just prior to the colloquium in room MG 401, is highly recommended but not compulsory. More details will be announced by email in due time.
Course goals An important aspect of physics research is modeling: complex physical systems are simplified through a sequence of controlled approximations to a model that lends itself for computations, either analytic or by computer. In this course, the origin of a number of widely used models will be discussed. Magnetic systems as well as the liquidgas transition is modelled by the Ising model, polymers are often modelled by random walks, liquid flow is often modelled by lattice Boltzmann gases. Insight into these models can be obtained through a number of ways, one of which is computer simulation. During the course, simulation methods for these models will be discussed in the lectures as well as in computer lab sessions.
The course covers the basic concepts of modern string theory. This includes covariant and lightcone quantisation of bosonic and fermionic strings, geometry and topology of string worldsheets, vertex operators and string scattering amplitudes, worldsheet and spacetime supersymmetries, elements of conformal field theory, GreenSchwarz superstrings, strings in curved backgrounds, lowenergy effective actions, Dbrane physics.
This is an interuniversity course. At the UvA the course is listed with the title: Particles and Fields. In this course we investigate the structure and manifestations of (nonabelian) gauge theories. The Standard Model is an example, but we will often take a more general view. We begin with a general discussion of global and local symmetries, and the construction of nonabelian gauge theories. Then we discuss their quantization: gaugefixing, ghosts and Feynman rules. The enables a treatment of renormalization, the property of asymptotic freedom, and the decoupling of heavy degrees of freedom. We then discuss some applications for Quantum Chromodynamics at the oneloop level. This is followed by an indepth treatment of spontaneous symmetry breaking for both global and local symmetries, and the Higgs mechanism. The Standard Model is introduced, and some of its phenomenology is discussed. When time permits, the course will be concluded by a discussion of chiral anomalies, and some outlook beyond the Standard Model. 