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## Topic outline

### Degree Course Pathways

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### Aims of the Programme

We aim to:

- Teach physics of high quality within an excellent research environment;
- Recruit students able to benefit from a university education;
- Provide a Programme that enables students with a variety of educational backgrounds to pursue physics as a subject;
- Provide access to such variety of modules, including those from other disciplines, as to enable students to tailor their studies to their own needs and interests;
- Instill in our students an understanding of the working of the physical world;
- Encourage students to develop transferable skills that are applicable to a variety of careers;
- Provide a Programme that prepares students, where appropriate, for a range of professional careers in physics.
- Provide opportunities for students to appreciate the beauty of physics and to develop a desire for learning.

### How Will You Learn?

The majority of the MSc is delivered through lectures. As a member of a small student cohort you will also have ample access to the academic staff responsible for delivering the lecture courses during their scheduled office hours.

You will have 3 hours of lectures per module and normally four taught modules per semester. You will also be expected to undertake a large amount of personal study, reading widely around your subject.

Additional support is provided by your allocated academic adviser and the supervisor for your research project.

### How Will You Be Assessed?

The majority of taught modules are assessed by a final examination (typically 90% of the final mark) and by coursework (typically 10% of the final mark), although individual module mark schemes may vary from this.

The compulsory MSc Physics project is assessed by the final written report and performance during the project.**Dissertation:**

You will also be assessed on a research project (as above).

### How is the Programme Structured?

The MSc in Physics is available to study full-time over one year.

The programme consists of eight taught and examined modules during the first two semesters and a substantial research project undertaken in the second and third semesters within the relevant research group.

Students will take 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit research project.

You will also be able to take modules from University College London, King's College London or Royal Holloway University of London, as per the list of approved modules.

### What Are the Entry Requirements?

- Applicants should have at least an upper second class BSc degree or an equivalent recognised degree from a foreign university in Physics or closely related discipline.

### 2021/22 PROGRAMME DIET

**MSc Physics: Theoretical Physics**###### SEMESTER 1 (SEM1)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**Relativistic Waves and Quantum FieldsSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: SPA5304, SPA6325 & SPA5218

Corequisite: SPA7027U

Prerequisite of: SPA7032U/PDescription: This module provides a first introduction into the unification of last century's groundshaking revolutions in physics: Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Relativistic wave equations for particles of various spins are derived and studied, and the physical interpretations of their solutions are analyzed. Students will learn about the fundamental concepts of quantum field theory, starting with classical field theory, quantisation of the free Klein-Gordon and Dirac field and the derivation of the Feynman propagator. Then interactions are introduced and a systematic procedure to calculate scattering amplitudes using Feynman diagrams is derived. Finally, the quantisation of the electro-magnetic field is discussed and the relativistic cross sections for various physically relevant examples are calculated.

Assessment: 90% Examination and 10% Coursework

Level: 7

Relativity and GravitationSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: NoneDescription: This module offers an explanation of the fundamental principles of General Relativity. This involves the analysis of particles in a given gravitational field and the propagation of electromagnetic waves in a gravitational field. The derivation of Einstein's field equations from basic principles is included. The derivation of the Schwarzchild solution and the analysis of the Kerr solution inform discussion of physical aspects of strong gravitational fields around black holes. The generation, propagation and detection of gravitational waves is mathematically analysed and a discussion of weak general relativistic effects in the Solar System and binary pulsars is included as a discussion of the experimental tests of General Relativity.

Assessment: 90% Examination and 10% Coursework

Level: 7

Functional Methods in Quantum Field TheorySEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: NoneDescription: The module will introduce Feynman's path integral formulation of Quantum Mechanics and apply it to study of Quantum Field Theory (QFT). Emphasis will be given to the role of symmetries (Ward identities), the renormalisation group and the idea of effective action. The concept of Wilson's effective action and the different nature of (ir)relevant/marginal terms will be discussed. Simple scalar theories will provide the example where to apply the concepts and the techniques introduced. The course will also touch on some more advanced topics, such as quantum anomalies and conformal field theories.

Assessment: 90% Examination and 10% Coursework

Level: 7

Differential Geometry in Theoretical PhysicsSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: SPA6324; SPA6308 or equivalent

Corequisite: SPA7018UDescription: The aim of this course is to complement the core Relativistic Waves and Quantum Fields (RWQF) module by providing the student with some advanced tools essential for research in modern Theoretical Physics. Using the same starting point as RWQF, Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism, we will focus on the Lagrangian formulation of the two most prominent theories of our time: Yang-Mills (gauge) theory and gravity. The alternative notation of differential forms will be explored and the geometric aspects of gauge theory emphasised. Building on this, and introducing elements from group theory and fibre bundles we will introduce classical solitons as localised, finite energy solutions to the classical field equations in various dimensions (kinks in 2d, vortices in 3d, monopoles in 4d, instantons in Euclidean 4d) and discuss their properties, including the existence of zero-modes, associated collective coordinates and moduli spaces.

Assessment: 90% Examination and 10% Coursework

Level: 7

Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: NoneDescription: Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modules

Assessment: See Module

Level: 7

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

###### SEMESTER 2 (SEM2)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**Advanced Quantum Field TheorySEM2715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: NoneDescription: This module gives a broad exposition of the modern frame work for the unification of special relativity and quantum theory -- relativistic quantum field theory (QFT). Lagrangian formulation and canonical quantisation of free fields with spin = 0, 1/2, 1 are revised. The construction of interacting quantum field theories is devoloped with special focus on phi^4-theory and quantum electrodynamics (QED). Perturbation theory in terms of Feynman diagrams is developed systematically, and important concepts such as regularisation and renormalisation are introduced. These tools are applied to the calculation of simple tree-level and one-loop S-matrix elements and cross-sections in phi^4 theory and QED, corrections to the electron magnetic moment and the running coupling. The course will also touch on more advanced topics such as anomalies, non-Abelian gauge theories, and modern methods for the calculation of S-matrix elements.

Assessment: 90% Examination and 10% Coursework

Level: 7

Supersymmetric Methods in Theoretical PhysicsSEM2715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: SPA6413, SPA6423

Corequisite: SPA7018UDescription: This course introduces core concepts in supersymmetry that can be applied to quantitatively understand a broad variety of physical systems and is a complement to the AQFT and FMQFT modules. Starting with supersymmetric quantum mechanics as a toy model, the course covers the supersymmetry algebra, its representations, the Witten Index, and the resulting constraints on quantum dynamics. We then move on to introduce supersymmetric field theories in three space-time dimensions consisting of scalars and fermions while giving a basic introduction to symmetry currents, the classical and quantum Wilsonian renormalization group flow, moduli spaces, spurions, and non-renormalization arguments. The course culminates in a study of simple dualities in three-dimensional supersymmetric abelian gauge theories. We conclude with a discussion of supersymmetry in four space-time dimensions and, time permitting, the embedding of our constructions in string theory.

Assessment: 90% Examination and 10% Coursework

Level: 7

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: NoneDescription: Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modules

Assessment: See Module

Level: 7

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

###### SEMESTER 3 (SEM3)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**MSc Physics Research ProjectFULL YEAR760

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: NoneDescription: The MSc research Project is at the heart of the MSc programme. It is an independent project undertaken by the student within a working research group in the School. The project runs over three semesters in order to allow for the student to both design their project (using available literature etc.), be trained in the relevant techniques and carry out a reasonably substantial piece of research based on an actual (real) research problem. The presentation of the student findings is based both on a formal, technical written report (75 page maximum length) and on an oral presentation (e.g. powerpoint talk) and examination.

Assessment: 50% Dissertation and 50% Practical**Level:**7

MSc Physics: Condensed Matter Physics

**SEMESTER 1 (SEM1)****Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit****Plus 3 Approved Modules****SEM1****7****15****Overlap: None**

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modulesAssessment: See Module

Level: 7

**-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**SEMESTER 2 (SEM2)

Module CodeModule NamePeriodLevelCreditElectronic Structure MethodsSEM2715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None**Description:**Electronic structure methods - that is, computational algorithms to solve the Schrodinger equation - play a very important role in physics, chemistry and materials science. These methods are increasingly treated on a equal footing with experiment in a number of areas of research, a sign of their growing predictive power and increasing ease of use. This course will cover the fundamental theoretical ideas behind these methods. Topics will include Hartree-Fock, correlated methods like Moller-Plesset perturbation theory, configuration interaction, coupled-cluster as well as density-functional theory. The theoretical ideas will be complemented with a hands-on computational laboratory using state-of-the-art programs with the aim of providing our students with a basic understanding of the technical implementations and strengths and shortcomings of these methods.Assessment: 60% Examination and 40% Coursework

Level: 7

Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modulesAssessment: See Module

Level: 7

SEMESTER 3 (SEM3)

Module CodeModule NamePeriodLevelCreditMSc Physics Research ProjectFULL YEAR760

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**The MSc research Project is at the heart of the MSc programme. It is an independent project undertaken by the student within a working research group in the School. The project runs over three semesters in order to allow for the student to both design their project (using available literature etc.), be trained in the relevant techniques and carry out a reasonably substantial piece of research based on an actual (real) research problem. The presentation of the student findings is based both on a formal, technical written report (75 page maximum length) and on an oral presentation (e.g. powerpoint talk) and examination.**Assessment:**50% Dissertation and 50% Practical**Level:**7

**MSc Physics: Particle Physics****SEMESTER 1 (SEM1)**

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**Relativistic Waves and Quantum FieldsSEM1715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**SPA5304, SPA6325 & SPA5218**Corequisite:**SPA7027U**Prerequisite of:**SPA7032U/P**Description:**This module provides a first introduction into the unification of last century's groundshaking revolutions in physics: Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Relativistic wave equations for particles of various spins are derived and studied, and the physical interpretations of their solutions are analyzed. Students will learn about the fundamental concepts of quantum field theory, starting with classical field theory, quantisation of the free Klein-Gordon and Dirac field and the derivation of the Feynman propagator. Then interactions are introduced and a systematic procedure to calculate scattering amplitudes using Feynman diagrams is derived. Finally, the quantisation of the electro-magnetic field is discussed and the relativistic cross sections for various physically relevant examples are calculated.**Assessment:**90% Examination and 10% Coursework**Level:**7

Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modules**Assessment:**See Module**Level:**7

**SEMESTER 2 (SEM2)**

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**Advanced Quantum Field TheorySEM2715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**This module gives a broad exposition of the modern frame work for the unification of special relativity and quantum theory -- relativistic quantum field theory (QFT). Lagrangian formulation and canonical quantisation of free fields with spin = 0, 1/2, 1 are revised. The construction of interacting quantum field theories is devoloped with special focus on phi^4-theory and quantum electrodynamics (QED). Perturbation theory in terms of Feynman diagrams is developed systematically, and important concepts such as regularisation and renormalisation are introduced. These tools are applied to the calculation of simple tree-level and one-loop S-matrix elements and cross-sections in phi^4 theory and QED, corrections to the electron magnetic moment and the running coupling. The course will also touch on more advanced topics such as anomalies, non-Abelian gauge theories, and modern methods for the calculation of S-matrix elements.**Assessment:**90% Examination and 10% Coursework**Level:**7

Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modules**Assessment:**See Module**Level:**7

**SEMESTER 3 (SEM3)**

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**MSc Physics Research ProjectFULL YEAR760

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**The MSc research Project is at the heart of the MSc programme. It is an independent project undertaken by the student within a working research group in the School. The project runs over three semesters in order to allow for the student to both design their project (using available literature etc.), be trained in the relevant techniques and carry out a reasonably substantial piece of research based on an actual (real) research problem. The presentation of the student findings is based both on a formal, technical written report (75 page maximum length) and on an oral presentation (e.g. powerpoint talk) and examination.**Assessment:**50% Dissertation and 50% Practical**Level:**7

**MSc Physics: Condensed Matter Physics**

###### SEMESTER 1 (SEM1)

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**4 Approved ModulesSEM1**7****15****Overlap: None**

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modulesAssessment: See Module

Level: 7

**------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**

###### SEMESTER 2 (SEM2)

Module CodeModule NamePeriodLevelCredit4 Approved ModulesSEM1715

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modulesAssessment: See Module

Level: 7

###### SEMESTER 3 (SEM3)

Module CodeModule NamePeriodLevelCreditMSc Physics Research ProjectFULL YEAR760

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**The MSc research Project is at the heart of the MSc programme. It is an independent project undertaken by the student within a working research group in the School. The project runs over three semesters in order to allow for the student to both design their project (using available literature etc.), be trained in the relevant techniques and carry out a reasonably substantial piece of research based on an actual (real) research problem. The presentation of the student findings is based both on a formal, technical written report (75 page maximum length) and on an oral presentation (e.g. powerpoint talk) and examination.**Assessment:**50% Dissertation and 50% Practical**Level:**7

**MSc Physics: Particle Physics****SEMESTER 1 (SEM1)**

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**Relativistic Waves and Quantum FieldsSEM1715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**SPA5304, SPA6325 & SPA5218**Corequisite:**SPA7027U**Prerequisite of:**SPA7032U/P**Description:**This module provides a first introduction into the unification of last century's groundshaking revolutions in physics: Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Relativistic wave equations for particles of various spins are derived and studied, and the physical interpretations of their solutions are analyzed. Students will learn about the fundamental concepts of quantum field theory, starting with classical field theory, quantisation of the free Klein-Gordon and Dirac field and the derivation of the Feynman propagator. Then interactions are introduced and a systematic procedure to calculate scattering amplitudes using Feynman diagrams is derived. Finally, the quantisation of the electro-magnetic field is discussed and the relativistic cross sections for various physically relevant examples are calculated.**Assessment:**90% Examination and 10% Coursework**Level:**7

Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modules**Assessment:**See Module**Level:**7

###### SEMESTER 2 (SEM2)

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**Advanced Quantum Field TheorySEM2715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**This module gives a broad exposition of the modern frame work for the unification of special relativity and quantum theory -- relativistic quantum field theory (QFT). Lagrangian formulation and canonical quantisation of free fields with spin = 0, 1/2, 1 are revised. The construction of interacting quantum field theories is devoloped with special focus on phi^4-theory and quantum electrodynamics (QED). Perturbation theory in terms of Feynman diagrams is developed systematically, and important concepts such as regularisation and renormalisation are introduced. These tools are applied to the calculation of simple tree-level and one-loop S-matrix elements and cross-sections in phi^4 theory and QED, corrections to the electron magnetic moment and the running coupling. The course will also touch on more advanced topics such as anomalies, non-Abelian gauge theories, and modern methods for the calculation of S-matrix elements.**Assessment:**90% Examination and 10% Coursework**Level:**7

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**SPA5319, SPA6413 or Equivalent**Corequisite:**SPA7018P**Description:**The aim of this course is to develop and apply theoretical ideas relevant to collider physics experiments, such as the Large Hadron Collider and related facilities. The course begins by reviewing non-abelian gauge theories, which underly the Standard Model of Particle Physics, before focusing on Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of quarks and gluons. Detailed applications to experimental observables (e.g. cross-sections) will be examined, as well as modern search methods for new physics signals.**Assessment:**90% Examination and 10% Coursework**Level:**7

Plus 3 Approved ModulesSEM1715

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**Plus 3 further modules from the list of approved modules**Assessment:**See Module**Level:**7

###### SEMESTER 3 (SEM3)

**Module Code****Module Name****Period****Level****Credit**MSc Physics Research ProjectFULL YEAR760

**Overlap:**None**Prerequisite:**None**Corequisite:**None**Description:**The MSc research Project is at the heart of the MSc programme. It is an independent project undertaken by the student within a working research group in the School. The project runs over three semesters in order to allow for the student to both design their project (using available literature etc.), be trained in the relevant techniques and carry out a reasonably substantial piece of research based on an actual (real) research problem. The presentation of the student findings is based both on a formal, technical written report (75 page maximum length) and on an oral presentation (e.g. powerpoint talk) and examination.**Assessment:**50% Dissertation and 50% Practical**Level:**7

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