Physics 221A, Quantum Field Theory

Winter 2012

The final exam is now ready, you can take it during any 24 hour period.  Email me your desired start time.*

*Note: I will not be in constant contact, so for best results give me a day's notice.


Minor typo: Problem 3, argument of cos is kappa_0 phi_0


Instructor: Joe Polchinski,

Course Web Site:

Class: TTh 9:30-10:45 Phelps 3519

Office Hours:  Usually T 2-3, W 1:30-2:30, Kohn (KITP) 2139, and by appointment.  This may change from week to week due to conditions beyond my control, so check back here.  


Textbook: Quantum Field Theory, Srednicki.  

Homework: Weekly, due Wednesday at 5 at Ben Michel's mailbox, 1st floor Broida

Grader: Ben Michel, OH T 2:15-3:45 and W 12:30-1:30.  Except for short questions I suggest you come to my office hour, Ben will have his hands full with the grad QM students.  

Final exam: Take-home


Every QFT text has strengths and weaknesses, so it is useful to be familiar with several.  Peskin & Schroeder andWeinberg are both good references: not as easy-reading as Srednicki, but more thorough on some of the more technical subjects.  I have used Ramond and Ryder in the past as well - more at Srednicki's level, but drier.


Th 9/27:  Ch. 1: What is QFT?  Why QFT?

TTh 10/2,4:  Ch. 2-4: Canonical quantization of free scalar, Lorentz invariance

TTh 10/9,11:  Ch. 6-8: Path integral quantization

TTh 10/16,18: Ch. 8-10: Path integrals for free and interacting field theory

TTh 10/23, 25:  Ch. 5,10,11: Scattering amplitudes and cross sections, LSZ (briefly).  Also, ch. 12 dim. analysis, and ch. 13, spectral representation (briefly).

TTh 10/30, 11/1: Ch. 14,16: Loop calculations of propagator and vertex.

TTh 11/6, 8: Ch. 17-19: General loops and renormalizability.  Ch. 22: Noether's theorem: symmetries

TTh 11/13, 15: Ch. 22-24: Symmetries

T 11/20: Ch. 27,28: Renormalization group

TTh 11/27, 29: Ch. 28,29: Renormalization group and effective field theory.  Ch. 30-32 Spontaneous symmetry breaking.

TTh 12/4, 6: Special topics



Homework #1, Due at beginning of class 10/4.  Solutions #1

Homework #2: Sred. 3.3, 3.4, 3.5.  Due 10/10.  Solutions #2

Homework #3, Due 10/17.  Solutions #3

Homework #4, Due 10/24.  Solutions #4

Homework #5, Due 10/31.  Solutions #5

Homework #6, Due 11/7.  Solutions #6

Homework #7, Due 11/14.  Solutions #7

Homework #8, Due 11/28.  Solutions #8