PHZ4390 Overview
Fall 2015
Main page
Online materials
Particle Data Book
  Summary tables of particles
  Basic review tables
  Particle listings
  Atomic / nuclear properties
  Astrophysics / cosmology
Other links
  Physics Department
  Other physics courses

Prof. Guenakh Mitselmakher
2021 New Physics Bldg.
Phone: 352-392-5703
email: mitselmakher AT

Class lecture

MWF Period 8 (3:00 - 3:50) 1200 Physics Bldg.

Office hours After class or by appointment


Particle Physics, 3rd edition
B.R. Martin and G. Shaw (required)
ISBN: 0470032944 / 978-0470032947
Wiley, Dec. 2008

Background books

Modern Physics (5th ed.)
(Used in PHY3101)
Paul Tipler, Ralph Llewellyn
$92.52, 700 pages
ISBN: 0716775506 / 978-0716775508 (W. H. Freeman)

Online reference 1: The Physics Hypertextbook. This is a basic online reference book for all basic physics, including several topics in Modern physics.

Online reference 2: Modern Physics course at UVA (Michael Fowler). This online course has a lot of historical description as well as mathematics.

About the course

This one-semester course is designed to give an introduction to history, basic concepts and major experimental results that emerged from the ultimate quest for understanding the most fundamental constituents of matter and the primary forces of nature.

This class is not intended as a systematic study of the subject. If you chose to pursue graduate studies in particle physics, you will get systematic advanced courses as part of your graduate curriculum. Rather, I want to leave you with a preliminary understanding of a broad spectrum of interesting questions and topics in high-energy particle physics.


  • History of Particle physics, discovery of particles
  • Basic tools and components
    • Relativity and Kinematics
    • Elements of the ``Standard Model'' of particle physics
    • Fermions: Quarks and Leptons
    • Gauge Bosons and Forces
    • Symmetries: Discrete and Continuous
    • Accelerators and Detectors
  • Topics in Particle Physics
    • Generations in the Standard Model
      • Current understanding of generational structure
    • QCD and Nucleon Structure
      • Properties of QCD 
      • Probes of Structure
    • Electroweak Unification
      • Low energy weak interactions
      • Phenomenology of the electroweak unification
      • W and Z boson physics
      • Symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism. Higgs particle discovery and studies
    • CP Violation
      • Neutral Kaon System
      • Weak Interactions and CP Violation
      • Bottom Mesons
      • CP Violation and the Early Universe
    • Neutrino Physics
      • Neutrino Production and Detection
      • Neutrino mass and oscillations 
    • Large Hadron Collider and physics beyond the Standard Model 
    • Topics can be modified or added if students are interested

Grading: Grades will be based on your homework assignments (approximately, one in two-three weeks), two partial exams (one in the middle of the semester, one in the end) and quick quizzes in class.  The second exam may be substituted to the paper presentations by students, will be discussed in class. The exams will be 40% of your grade each, the homework 50%, and in class quick quizzes 10%.  There will be bonus questions in the HW and exams.
Late homework:

  • -50% (within 7 days)
  • homework overdue by more than one week will not be graded and no makeups will be possible.

Your final grades will be based on the percentage from the maximum possible total score:
A         80% of max
A-        75% of max
B+       70% of max
B         65% of max
B-        60% of max
C+       50% of max
C         40% of max
D         20% of max