NFYK21000U Advanced Topics in QFT & Gravity

Volume 2021/2022
Education

MSc Programme in Physics

Content

In this course we expose the students to selected advanced topics in QFT and Gravity, mainly how diverse formal frameworks, concepts, and methods from the realm of high energy physics are implemented in topical research in Gravity. This novel research area bridges the traditional gap between particle physics and gravity, and the course fosters research in this interface, particularly driven by the timely studies geared towards the continually-developing gravitational-wave experiments. The course is highly interactive, with a mixture of lectures and exercises, presentations and discussions led by all participants.

Learning Outcome

Knowledge

The course commences with a comprehensive introduction of the profound framework of effective field theory. The tower of effective field theories for post-Newtonian gravity is then presented in detail. This presentation also covers the following concepts and methods: Kaluza-Klein reduction, tetrads, Cartan's method of exterior forms, multi-loop techniques; and basics of non-equilibrium QFT. The tetrad formalism and spinors in general relativity are presented. In conjunction with the Newman-Penrose formalism this is shown to map exact solutions in General Relativity using the double copy correspondence. In the 2nd part of the course topical research articles on various QFT applications in gravity are studied in an interactive manner, where specific topics vary from year to year.

Competences

The course expands background competence of students in both Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity, and also trains in generic research skills, including how to approach novel research litterature, oral and written presentation of research, and scientific discourse. The course provides the students with the background training for further studies within this research area, namely a master's project in gravity from a QFT perspective, and further provides necessary background for students who consider to continue to research in particle physics theory or phenomenology, quantum gravity, or string theory. The course provides the students familiarity with concepts, methods, and skills, which apply across diverse areas in modern physics. The course is also relevant for PhD students.

Skills

Following the course the students will:

• Solidify their background in Quantum Field Theory and Gravity, and their modern interface;

• Master the conceptual framework of effective field theory in a generic context;

• Establish their ability to carry out intricate high-precision computation in various contexts;

• Be poised to approach contemporary research in gravity and gravitational waves using methods from the realm of high energy physics;

• Build generic research skills, including approaching novel research literature, scientific presentation, writing, and exchange.

See Absalon for a list of course literature

The student is expected to have followed courses on general relativity and quantum field theory.
The course on modern methods for particle scattering is recommended.
Lectures and exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 156
  • Exercises
  • 14
  • Exam
  • 8
  • Total
  • 206
Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

- Lecturer’s oral feedback during in-class exercises

- Lecturer’s written feedback on written assignments

- Lecturer’s and peers (class) oral feedback on in-class discussions

- Lecturer’s written feedback on final reports

Credit
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment, during the course
Written assignment, 1 week
The continuous assessment consists of 2 home assignments, each counting for 25% of the final grade, and a student seminar, counting for 25% of the final grade.
The written assignment is based on a research article and counts 25% of the final grade. The students will be given one week to finish the report, which is due in week 8 of the course. The total workload of the report is expected to be about 8 hours.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
2 internal examiners (course coordinator + 1 co-examiner).
Re-exam

A report based on a research article counts 25% of the grade, and an oral presentation counts 25%.

If the home assignments from the continuous assessment were passed during the course, these may be re-used at the re-exam, or new assignments may be submitted (each counting 25%).

Criteria for exam assesment

In order to obtain the grade 12, the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under learning outcome.