PHYS416-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Quantum Field Theory

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


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.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 10:00 - 11:00 A8 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 A8 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
16 Sep - 20 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 11:00 - 12:00 Rehua 530
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Examinations, Quizzes and Formal Tests

Test A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 A8 Lecture Theatre
9 Sep - 15 Sep

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Chris Gordon


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Problem Sets 10% Assignments x 4 (10%)
EXAM 50%
Test 30%
Tutorial Attendance 10% Tutorial attendance = 10%

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* 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

  • PHYS416-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024