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Physics 230 A: Elementary Particle Theory

Course Information for Fall 2017


  • Time: Monday & Wednesday, 10:30 - 11:55
  • Location: 469 Lauritsen

Office Hours:

  • Time: to be determined
  • Location: 452 Lauritsen

We will learn methods in quantum field theory which I hope are useful for theorists in high energy physics, condensed matter physics, quantum information, astrophysics, and cosmology. It is assumed that students have taken an introductory course on quantum field theory (such as Ph 205 at Caltech), which includes Feynman diagrams and renormalization in quantum electrodynamics (QED).

Plan (as of August 31, 2017; this may evolve in the next couple of weeks)

  • Quantization of the Yang-Mills theory
  • Spontaneously broken global and gauge symmetries
  • Solitons and instantons
  • Renormalization, renormalization group flow, and effective field theory
  • Conformal field theory


  • Quantum field theory in general

           The quantum field theory, volume 2: modern applications by Steven Weinberg

           Quantum field theory in a nutshell by Anthony Zee

            Harvard lectures on QFT by Xi Yin

  • Solitons and instantons

            TASI lectures on solitons by David Tong

            Les Houches lectures on vortices and monopole by John Preskill

  • Renormalization, renormalization group flow, and effective field theory

           Renormalization and effective lagrangian by Joseph Polchinski

           Effective field theory and the Fermi surface by Joseph Polchinski

            Lectures on effective field theory by David B. Kaplan

            Effective field theory by Howard Georgi

            Lectures on renormalization group flow by Zohar Komargodski

            ICTP lectures on conformal field theory by Zohar Komargodski