• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics, Theoretical Physics

This course is a core component of a Master degree in Theoretical Physics. It is intended for an advanced study of the theory of quantum fields, including quantization of scalar and spinor fields, renormalized perturbation theory, Feynman diagrams, renormalization group and spontaneous symmetry breaking. The course also contains basics of the theory of non-abelian gauge fields, which describe strong interactions of elementary particles.  The theory is developed in a systematic manner, incorporates methods of quantum mechanics, special and general relativity and provides various examples, ranging from basic classification of elementary particles to non-perturbative techniques in quantum field theory. The course therefore allows students to tie together and contextualise a number of concepts that they have learned throughout their undergraduate studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand quantization of scalar and spinor fields and the structure of quantum vacuum.
  2. Use functional integrals for perturbation theory in quantum field theory.
  3. Apply renormalization and regularization in quantum field theory.
  4. Understand of spontaneous symmetry breaking.
  5. Describe quantum electrodynamics and non-abelian gauge theories.
  6. Develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities with application to a diverse range of practical problems in quantum field theory, spanning from elementrary particle physics to modern theories of unified interactions.
  7. Communicate and explain concepts in quantum field theory to an audience of their peers.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 6 quizzes (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. 4 assignments (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Final exam (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research topic presentation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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3 lectures per week plus regular tutorials plus homework (up to 10 hours per week)

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Prerequisite: PHYS6201 Quantum Field Theory (or PHYS3201 if taken in an FVDD) Prerequisite/co-requisite: PHYS8301 Applied Mathematical Methods in Physics

Prescribed Texts

M.Peskin, D.Schroeder, ``An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory", ISBN 0-201-50397-2

Assumed Knowledge

Classical and quantum mechanics, classical electrodynamics, mathematical methods in physics, elements of group theory.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3798 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person N/A

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