29::248 Quantum Gauge Theories Syllabus

Fall Semester 2007

Instructor: Prof. Yannick Meurice


Course Content

The course is open to students who have taken Quantum Mechanics I and II. It will be taught in such
a way that students who have not taken quantum field theory, will be able to catch up.
I recommend that students who have not taken Quantum Field Theory read the beginning chapters of Peskin and Shroeder's book "Quantum Field Theory".

I intend to cover the following topics:

Review of the path integral formulation.
Gauge theories on the lattice and in the continuum.
Sigma models in various dimensions.
Field theory at finite temperature.
Feynman rules for QED and QCD.
Experimental tests of perturbative calculations in QED.
Strong coupling expansion.
Classical solutions for non-abelian gauge theories.
Effect of instantons.
Lattice fermions.
Confinement of quarks and gluons.
Quark-gluon plasmas.
Chiral symmetry breaking.
Effective theories.


Main textbooks:

A. Polyakov, Gauge Fields and Strings, Harwood, 1987.

S. Coleman, Aspects of Symmetry, Cambridge,  1985.

J. Smit,  Introduction to Quantum Fields on the Lattice, Cambridge, 2000.

M. Peskin and D. Schroeder,  Quantum Field Theory, Addison Wesley, 1995.

see also:

M. Creutz, Quarks, Gluons and Lattices, Cambridge, 1983

M. Le Bellac, Thermal Field Theory,  Cambridge, 1996

H. Rothe, Lattice Gauge Theories, World Scientific, 1997

E. Fradkin, Field Theories of Condensed Matter Systems,  Addison Wesley, 1991.

I. Montvay and G. Munster, Quantum Field on a Lattice, Cambridge, 1997.

N. Nagaosa, Quantum Field Theory in Condensed Matter Physics, Springer, 1999.

S. Weinberg,  The Quantum Theory of Fields , Cambridge, 1994.

C. Itzykson and J.B. Zuber,  Quantum Field Theory, Mc Graw Hill, 1980.

R. Feynman and A. Hibbs, Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, Mc Graw Hill, 1965

M. Srednicki, Quantum Field Theory, Cambridge, 2007.


A reading assignment and a problem set will be provided every two weeks during the class. Assignments will be handed in class. 

Examinations and Final Grade

There will be two in-class exams during the semester and one final exam during the exam week. The final grade will be calculated in the following way: 30 points for the homeworks, 40 points for the in-class exams and 30 points for the final exam.

Class Attendance

Attendance at lectures is highly recommended but not required. You are strongly encouraged to ask questions during the lectures. There are no ``stupid questions''.




A student suspected of plagiarism or cheating must inform the student in writing as soon as possible after the incident has been observed or discovered.  Instructors who detect cheating or plagiarism may decide, in consultation with the departmental executive officer, to reduce the student's grade on the assignment or the course, even to assign an F. The instructor writes an account of the chronology of the plagiarism or cheating incident for the DEO (Associate Chair), who sends an endorsement of the written report of the case to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, CLAS. A copy of the report will be sent to the student.

A detailed policy is printed in the Schedule of Courses and the College's Student Academic Handbook.