Topics in Effective Field Theory

A modular course for advanced graduate students

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Blechman (MP 1102, x8-5215).

Length: 4 weeks, two 1.5 hr lectures each week.

Proposed Time: Alternate weeks, Monday/Wednesday, 3PM - 5 PM in MP 1115.

Prerequisites: QFT I and II or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

Course Goals: There is a gap of knowledge between the QFT courses students take when they start graduate work in theoretical physics, and actual research. This gap is traditionally filled by hard work and hands on experience. I would like to offer a short course to help students fill that gap. I will try to cover the basics of three vitally important techniques used in modern theoretical physics research: spontaneous symmetry breaking, effective field theory and the renormalization group.  Materials will be covered in both lecture format, as well as through

challenging homework problems.

Evaluations: Students will complete one assignment each week for a total of 4 assignments. Each set will contain several problems. All problems will be weighted equally. The sum of all points earned will be the final raw grade. Allowances will be made for participation in and out of class. Students are strongly encouraged to work together on the

assignments, as they will (hopefully) be challenging.