Teaching

I teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in my home institutions, usually in alternating years. I also sometimes am invited to give a short series of courses externally.

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

I have taught a number of undergraduate courses over the years while at McGill University, though my main offerings have been

  • Introductory Physics (for 1st year)
  • Mathematical Physics (with lecture notes)
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  • Planets, Stars & Galaxies

The courses I have been teaching most recently are offered at McMaster University. Until recently my main course was

This is an introductory course on Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, aimed at upper-year physics undergraduates. Topics covered include an introduction to differential geometry, special relativity as geometry, gravity in the solar system, black holes, gravitational lensing and cosmology.

At present I am teaching the following two courses, which are offered on alternate years:

This is an introductory course on subatomic physics, aimed at upper-year physics undergraduates. Topics covered include an introduction to nuclear physics, subatomic particles, scattering and decays, relativistic quantum field theory and the Standard Model.

This is an introductory course on quantum field theory, aimed at upper-year physics undergraduates. Topics covered include an introduction to creation and annihilation operators (how to do quantum mechanics when interactions possibly change the number of particles), coherent states and classical fields, Bose-Einstein condensation and spontaneous symmetry breaking, quantizing the electromagnetic field, merging relativity and quantum mechanics (spin-statistics and CPT theorems, crossing symmetry).

I also sometimes teach

This is an zero-credit course that meets once a week to discuss selected topics from the 1st Year physics curriculum to take them a bit further and make connections with wider physics principles. I am also open to suggestion if there are other science topics of broad interest to the class.

GRADUATE COURSES

The graduate courses I teach vary from year to year, and are aimed at students in high energy particle physics. These courses are usually taught at Perimeter Institute so that students from other universities (and online, using PIRSA) can also attend.

Among the courses I have recently given are:

  • Introduction to the Standard Model (which uses a great textbook on the Standard Model),
  • Introduction to Effective Field Theories
  • Introduction to Cosmology (with lecture notes)
  • Quantum Field Theory 2

Quantum Field Theory 2 is my most recent graduate course, aimed at students who have already had a first exposure to quantum field theory.

EXTERNAL COURSES

I am occasionally invited to give a set of 3-5 lectures on a variety of (usually graduate-level) topics elsewhere. Here are some recent lectures of this type I’ve given.

  • Effective Field Theory in Cosmology, 4-hour lecture series presented to: Les Houches Summer School on Effective Field Theories, Les Houches, France, July 2017
  • Explorations in Particle Physics, 6-hour lecture series presented to: Perimeter Scholars International, Perimeter Institute, April 2017
  • Explorations in Particle Astrophysics, 15-hour lecture series presented to: Perimeter Scholars International, Perimeter Institute, April 2016
  • Beyond the Standard Model, 5-hour lecture series presented to: XVIII Swieca School of Physics, Campos do Jordao, Brazil, January 2015
  • The Cosmological Constant Problem, 3-hour lecture series presented to: Les Houches Summer School Post-Planck Cosmology, Les Houches, France, July 2013
  • Effective Field Theory and Cosmology, 3-hour lecture series presented to: Essential Cosmology for the Next Generation (Cosmology on the Beach), Cancun, Mexico, January 2012
  • Inflation, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, 4-hour lecture series presented to: Nordic Winter School on Cosmology and Particle Physics, Gausdal, Norway, January 2011
  • Inflation and Fundamental Physics, 2-hour lecture series presented to: UniverseNET School on Cosmology, Lecce, Italy, September 2010
  • Introduction to the Standard Model, 4-hour lecture series presented to: TRIUMF Summer Institute, Vancouver, BC, July 2009
  • Physics Beyond the Standard Model, 3-hour lecture series presented to Universite de Paris IX/Bielefeld International Graduate Course on Physics Beyond the Standard Model, Bielefeld, Germany, September, 2008; and to Benasque School on Flavor Physics, Benasque, Spain, August, 2008
  • Effective Field Theory, 5-hour lecture series presented to British Universities Graduate Summer School (BUSSTEPP), York, England, August, 2007; and 6-hour lecture series presented to British Universities Graduate Summer School (BUSSTEPP), Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept., 2006
  • Cosmic Inflation, 4.5-hour lecture series presented to: Cargèse School on Cosmology and Particle Physics Beyond the Standard Models, Cargèse, France, August 2007;
  • String Cosmology, 4-hour lecture series presented to: CERN RTN Graduate School, Geneva, Switzerland, January, 2007; and 4-hour lecture series presented to: Central European Joint Program of Doctoral Studies in Theoretical Physics (Particle Physics, Gravity and Cosmology), Dubrovnik, Croatia, August, 2006; and 3-hour lecture series presented to: International Graduate School on Cosmology, Universite de Paris XI/Bielefeld, Paris, France, March, 2006