Spring 2013: Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics (171.625)

The course is suitable for advanced physics undergraduates and beginning graduate students interested in experimental high energy physics. Some basic knowledge of non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Theory of Relativity, and relevant mathematical techniques is required. However, material will be presented in a phenomenological and empirical way with the emphasis on experimental aspects of the field. Other more advanced courses on particle physics are recommended for deeper studies of theoretical formalism.

Note that we meet in room 361 of the Bloomberg building
The following material will be used in the course:

You may also talk with the instructor if you are interested in research opportunities in experimental particle physics, such as search for and study of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider.

Supporting material:

calendar: important dates
calendar: topics covered
list of papers for presentation

Lecture 1 (Jan 28, 2013): Introduction: course overview.

Lecture 2 (Jan 30, 2013): Review of quantum mechanics with examples (neutrino oscillations, spin statistics). Spin and helicity. Dirac equation. Leptons. Quarks. Hadrons: baryons.

Lecture 3 (Feb 4, 2013): Hadrons: mesons. Conservation laws. Unstable particles, Breit-Wigner resonance, lifetime and width, conservation laws. Decay chain to stable particles. Interactions: boson mediators. Feynman Diagrams, examples. Electromagnetic interactions (QED), Lagrangian of QED.

Lecture 4 (Feb 6, 2013, actual day Feb 15): Strong interactions (QCD), Lagrangian of QCD. Weak interactions. Weak Interactions. Example of pion decay and helicity. EW unification and Higgs particle. Higgs mechanism. "New Physics": supersymmetry.

Lecture 5 (Feb 11, 2013): Alpha-, beta-, gamma-, cosmic-rays. Radioactive sources. Cosmic-ray particles. History: Thompson and Rutherford. Major discoveries of the 20th century. Production of particles.

Lecture 6 (Feb 13, 2013): Acceleration of particles. Technical issues of accelerators. Examples of accelerator complexes. Luminosity and cross-section. e+e- cross-section as a function of energy.

Note: Special days
Lecture 7 (Feb 25, 2013): Particle interaction with matter. Ionization energy loss. Multiple scattering. Electron interactions. Photon interactions.

Lecture 8 (Feb 27, 2013): Electro-magnetic shower. Nuclear interactions. Detectors of elementary particles. Position detectors: emulsion, cloud chamber, bubble chamber, spark chamber, streamer chamber, proportional chambers, drift chambers, time-projection chambers, silicon strip and pixel detectors.

Lecture 9 (Mar 1, 2013): Momentum detectors: magnetic spectrometers. EM shower detectors. Scintillators.

Lecture 10 (Mar 4, 2013): Hadronic calorimeters. Particle identification principles. Time-of-flight, dE/dx, Cherenkov light, Transition radiation.

Note: snow day March 6
Lecture 11 (Mar 8, 2013): Examples of modern detectors.

Lecture 12 (Mar 11, 2013): Fundamental symmetries and conservation laws: energy, momentum, angular momentum, charge. Other symmetries: P, C, CP, T, CPT. Baryon and lepton numbers. Sakharov conditions. Parity of mesons. Parity of a complex system.

Lecture 13 (Mar 13, 2013): Charge conjugate symmetry: mesons and other examples. P- and C-conservation in strong and EM decays. Flavor symmetry: isospin and SU(2) group. SU(3). G-parity. Examples of isospin symmetry in strong decays.

Lecture 14 (Mar 25, 2013): Examples of isospin symmetry in strong decays. Neutral Kaon mesons.

Lecture 15 (Mar 27, 2013): Neutral Kaon mesons: CP violation and time-evolution. Quarks in hadrons: analogy with the hydrogen atom and positronium. Quarkonium spectra.

Lecture 16 (Apr 1, 2013): Charmonium decays. Heavy flavor mesons. Light mesons and singlet-octet mixing.

Lecture 17 (Apr 3, 2013): Quarks in hadrons: baryons. Baryon magnetic moment.

Lecture 18 (April 15, 2013): Baryon/meson mass. Proton structure. Partons in hadrons: lepton-nucleon scattering. Hadron-hadron scattering.

Lecture 19 (April 17, 2013): QCD potential at small distance. QCD potential at large distance. Quark mass. Angular distribution in scattering. e+e- => mu+mu-, 2jets, 3jets, any hadrons.

Lecture 20 (April 19, 2013): Presentations

Lecture 21 (April 22, 2013): Weak interactions: Weak and EM currents, Dirac equation, types of operators, V-A theory, polarisation of fermions. Observation of Parity violation. V-A operator. Propagator of a massive and massless boson. Fermi theory. Pion decay.

Lecture 22 (April 24, 2013): Observation of W and Z. Weak interactions: Cabibbo angle, GIM mechanism, CKM quark-mixing matrix. Constraints on CKM matrix, CP violation, direct-CP violation, loop and box diagrams. Neutrino mixing and neutrino physics. Solar and atmospheric neutrino experiments.

Lecture 23 (April 26, 2013): Presentations. The Higgs boson.

Lecture 24 (April 29, 2013): Reactor neutrinos and neutrino beams, sterile and Majorana neutrinos. Largrangian of Electromagnetic interactions. QED and QCD Largrangian. Weak isospin and hypercharge current.

Lecture 25 (May 1, 2013): Largrangian of Electroweak interactions. Spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism.

Mon May 6 14:19:15 EDT 2013