PHYS416-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Quantum Field Theory

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


Quantum Field Theory

In quantum field theory (QFT) we combine quantum mechanics and special relativity to come up with one of the most versatile and best tested theories in physics. It has a wide range of applications in fields as diverse as cosmology, particle, and condensed matter physics. QFT provides a natural way of modelling many body systems and explains particle annihilation and creation.

Initially we will concentrate on integer spin boson fields such as spin 0 mesons and spin 1 photons. We will examine the properties of vacuum energy and how QFT explains the Casimir effect. We will then look at how QFT is applied to spin 1/2 fermions such as the electron and the neutrino. We will extensively analyse the Dirac equation and examine how electrons couple to photons. We will also derive formulas for electron-electron scattering and the Klein–Nishina formula which provides an accurate equation for the scattering of photons from electrons.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Chris Gordon


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Problem Sets 10%
EXAM 65%
Test 25%

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,114.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Physical & Chemical Sciences .

All PHYS416 Occurrences

  • PHYS416-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023