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Announcement of free physics courses

  1. Oct 26, 2003 #1


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    Three graduate level study groups are starting at superstringtheory.com
    this fall (course descriptions below). All study groups are free, offered
    by physicists who want to have great discussions about physics.
    Registration is open at:


    Previous courses have been popular with theoretical physicists and
    mathematicians wanting to learn a new topic outside of their
    specialization, experimental physicists wanting to learn more theory,
    and with physicists who are no longer active in research but still love
    physics. More study groups and a journal club are planned. We hope
    you, or someone you know, will join us.

    Gavin Polhemus

    Seiberg Witten Theory (sst105)

    Dualities in supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories have provided great
    insight into the strong coupling behavior of quantum field theories. We
    will read "Duality in Supersymmetric Yang-Mills Theory" by Michael
    Peskin (available free online), which uses supersymmetric QCD to
    explore the confinement of quarks into mesons and baryons, symmetry
    breaking, and other features of strongly coupled gauge theories. We will
    study the celebrated Seiberg-Witten model, as well as the Affleck-Dine-
    Seiberg Superpotential and Seiberg's non-Abelian electric-magnetic
    This course covers advanced graduate level physics. Participants
    should be comfortable with quantum field theory (at the level of Peskin
    and Schroeder, "Introduction to Quantum Field Theory"), and have some
    familiarity with supersymmetry (I like Weinberg, "The Quantum Theory of
    Fields III, Supersymmetry").
    Instructor Gavin Polhemus has a B.S. in Physics from Stanford
    University and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago. His
    research has focused on Matrix Theory, a candidate for a
    nonperturbative formulation of string theory.

    Quantum Field Theory (qft101)

    The goal of this study group is to learn the fundamentals of quantum
    field theory (QFT) using the book "An Introduction to Quantum Field
    Theory" by Michael E. Peskin and Daniel V. Schroeder. By the end of the
    11 weeks study group, we will have learned the basic concepts of QFT as
    well as how to carry explicit calculations using Feynman diagrams
    involving spin 0, spin 1/2 and spin 1 particles. Many of the applications
    will involve the simplest quantum field theory with real life applications,
    quantum electrodynamics. We will do explicit calculations of both tree
    level (lowest order in the perturbative expansion) and loop diagrams. If
    there is sufficient interest, this could be followed by a second study
    group covering renormalization in more details and a third study group
    to cover path integral quantization and the Standard Model.
    QFT 101 covers graduate level physics. This study group is for
    students who are comfortable with quantum mechanics, special relativity
    and calculus.
    Instructor Patrick Labelle has a Masters degree and a PhD from
    Cornell University and a postdoc from McGill University. His research was
    on using renormalization to simplify calculations of nonrelativistic
    bound states. He has been teaching for the last six years.

    Quantum Mechanics (qm101)

    Quantum Mechanics 101 is graduate-level nonrelativistic quantum
    mechanics course which will prepare the student for more advanced
    topics such as quantum field theory. The textbook is
    "Modern Quantum Mechanics" by the late Sakurai.
    The prerequisites are: complex linear algebra, complex analysis,
    graduate level classical mechanics and electromagnetism, and basic
    quantum or wave mechanics.
    This course is not about mathematical physics, so we don't do
    axiomatic quantum mechanics, and some more subtle parts of Hilbert
    space mathematics are put under the carpet. For a more rigorous
    treatment please see "Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics"
    by John von Neumann. We will study theory to be able to use it in
    problem solving, so solving exercises will be a major part of the course.
    The tutor, Patrick Van Esch, holds Master degrees in Electrical
    Engineering and in Physics, as well as a PhD. in experimental particle
    physics from the Free University of Brussels. He has held different
    teaching and research positions, and is currently involved with neutron
    instrumentation research at the Institut Laue Langevin. His pastime is
    theoretical physics.
  2. jcsd
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