Introduction to Particle Physics I

Autumn 2018 - Period I

Lectures: Prof. Risto Orava, Monday 16-18 Exactum B119 + Wed 12-14 Exactum B120
Exercises: Mikael Mieskolainen, Wed 16-18 Exactum B120
Final Exam: Oral exam, can be done in pairs! Time/place TBD

Lecture slides: L1 , L2 , L3A , L3B , L4 ,
Exercise sheets: E1 , E2 , E3 , E4 , E5 , E6


2019: Students interested in advanced LHC stuff can start with: GRANIITTI - Algorithmic Engine and Monte Carlo event generator by MM

01.10.18 Exercises on this course are done in pairs. Find yourself an exercise partner. If you can't find anyone, send me an email Ps. Exercise points are collected only by being ready to present your solutions/work on the blackboard. -MM


Exercise 24.10: There was a typo (1/2 instead of -) in the exercise sheet (pseudorapidity formula).

Exercise 17.10: A high-tech question about Green's functions and vacuum expectation values. A suitable reference might be this classic paper by Wightman:

E/17:10: Some questions about SU(2), SO(3) and (half)-integer spin. Simple answer, integer spin particles (bosons) pick no multiplicative minus sign (-1) under 2π rotations, half integer particles do. This is the 'physical reason' why SO(3) is enough only for 3D-rotations, and for fermion (spinor) type phenomena we need SU(2).
Harmonic oscillator, Lie theory through examples, Lie groups in physics, Rotations through 2π, Symmetries in quantum mechanics

Alternative study material

Deep Inelastic Scattering: Experiments on the proton and the observation of scaling [link updated]

IPPP - Quarks and Leptons

Collider Phenomenology: Basic Knowledge and Techniques

Feynman diagrams for beginners

Computational software

Formal Course Outline (5 ECTS)

  • Underlying concepts
  • Decay rates and cross sections
  • The Dirac equation
  • Interaction by particle exchange
  • Electron-positron annihilation
  • Electron-proton elastic scattering
  • Deep inelastic scattering
  • Symmetries and the quark model


  • Grading is from 1 to 5. Exercises are 30% of the total grade. There is an oral final exam at the end of the course.


  • M. Thomson, Modern Particle Physics, Cambridge University Press 2013.
  • F. Halzen, A.D. Martin, Quarks and Leptons , John Wiley & Sons 1984.
  • D. Griffiths, Introduction to elementary particles, John Wiley & Sons 1987.
  • M. Peskin, D. Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, Westview Press 1995.
  • I. Aitchison, A. Hey, Gauge Theories in Particle Physics, Taylor & Francis 2004.
  • A. Seiden, Particle Physics: A Comprehensive Introduction, Addison-Wesley 2004.
  • O. Nachtmann, Elementary Particle Physics, Springer-Verlag 1990.

Web Resources