PX1476 Introduction to Particle Physics
Introductory description
The elementary constituents of matter are classified into three generations of quarks and leptons (electrons and neutrinos), which interact with each other through the electromagnetic, the weak and the strong forces. An account of how to classify the elementary particles and their interactions, and a description of some of the experimental tools used to probe their properties, is the subject of this introductory module. The module discusses the relationship between conservation laws and the symmetry of the families of elementary particles. Understanding this relationship is the key to understanding how elementary particles behave. We look at which quantities are conserved by which interactions and how this allows us to interpret simple reactions between particles. We also study how elementary particles interact with matter. One example is that of neutrinos in cosmic rays and their interaction with the earth's atmosphere.
Module aims
To provide an introduction to elementary particle physics including the naming and classification of particles, their detection and their interaction with matter
Outline syllabus
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The Guiding Principles of Elementary Particle Physics: Simplicity, Composition, Symmetry, Unification

Quarks and Leptons as basic building blocks: Periodic Table of Quarks and Leptons; Basic compostion rules for hadrons

The four forces and their roles: Electromagnetism, Gravity, Strong nuclear force, Weak nuclear force

Symmetries and conservation laws: Introduction through simple examples, Qualitative treatment of relationship between symmetries and conservation Laws, Conservations Laws of EPP

Particle Physics in the natural world: Natural radioactivity, source of geothermal energy, Cosmic rays, Natural sources of neutrinos: radioactivity, solar, atmospheric

Charged particles in electric and magnetic fields, e/m of the electron, Mass spectrometry, Cathode ray tube, Particle accelerators

Interactions of particles with matter: Ionisation, Pair creation by photons and Bremsstrahlung, Hadronic interactions, Exponential probability of interaction: radiation and interaction lengths, Particle detectors

The Big questions: Origin of Mass and the Higgs, Grand Unification as a goal, Neutrino character and mass
Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
 Classify the elementary particles giving the correct quantum number assignments to all quark and lepton flavours
 Discuss qualitatively the relationship between symmetries and conservation laws
 Explain the principles of cathode ray tubes, mass spectrometers and particle accelerators
 Characterise natural radioactivity, cosmic rays, solar and atmospheric neutrinos
 Describe the operation of common particle detectors
Indicative reading list
Chapter 44, of University Physics 11th Edition, HD Young and RA Freedman, Addison Wesley, 2004.
View reading list on Talis Aspire
Interdisciplinary
This module is taken by many students from within Mathematical Sciences (mainly Maths and Physics). Particle physics is about the fundamental laws governing how matter behaves. It is one of the great success stories of interdisciplinary collaboration between mathematics and physics  the Standard Model of particle physics is heavily based on concepts from algebra and differential geometry.
Subject specific skills
Knowledge of mathematics and physics. Skills in modelling, reasoning, thinking.
Transferable skills
Analytical, communication, problemsolving, selfstudy
Study time
Type  Required 

Lectures  15 sessions of 1 hour (25%) 
Tutorials  (0%) 
Private study  45 hours (75%) 
Total  60 hours 
Private study description
Working through lecture notes, solving problems, wider reading, discussing with others taking the module, revising for exam, practising on past exam papers
Costs
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Assessment group B1
Weighting  Study time  

2 hour online examination (Summer)  100%  
Answer two questions

Feedback on assessment
Personal tutor, group feedback
Courses
This module is Optional for:
 Year 1 of USTAG300 Undergraduate Master of Mathematics,Operational Research,Statistics and Economics
 Year 1 of UPXAFG33 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys)
 Year 1 of UPXAGF13 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc)
 Year 1 of UPXAFG31 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
 Year 1 of USTAG1G3 Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc MMathStat)
 Year 1 of USTAGG14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc)
 Year 1 of USTAY602 Undergraduate Mathematics,Operational Research,Statistics and Economics
 Year 1 of UPXAF304 Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys)
 Year 1 of UPXAF300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
 Year 1 of UPXAF303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)
 Year 1 of UPXAF3N1 Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies
 Year 1 of UPXAF3N2 Undergraduate Physics with Business Studies
This module is Option list B for:
 Year 1 of UMAAG100 Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc)
 Year 1 of UMAAG103 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath)
 Year 1 of UMAAG106 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe
 Year 1 of UMAAG1NC Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies
 Year 1 of UMAAG1N2 Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies (with Intercalated Year)
 Year 1 of UMAAGL11 Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics
 Year 1 of UECAGL12 Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics (with Intercalated Year)
 Year 1 of UMAAGV18 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Intercalated Year
 Year 1 of UMAAG101 Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year