This course is an introduction to Effective Field Theory techniques, aimed at graduate students. The intention is to be self-contained, but a previous exposure to classical and quantum field theory would be invaluable. The course contents are:
- Effective Field Theory (General Formalism)
1.1 A Toy Model
1.1 Generating Functionals
1.2 Wilson and 1LPI Actions
1.3 Power Counting and Nonrenormalizable Theories
1.4 Why Renormalizability is Important
- Relativistic Examples
2.1 Goldstone Particles and Nonlinear Realizations
2.2 QED and Dimensional Regularization
2.3 QED Effective Interactions
- Nonrelativistic Examples
3.1 Nonrelativistic Power Counting
3.2 Atoms, NRQED and HQET
3.3 Quantum Mechanics as an EFT
3.4 Point Particles with Internal Degrees of Freedom
- Other Applications
4.1 Time-dependent Problems
4.2 Boundaries in EFTs
4.3 Local Equilibrium and Fluids
- Effective Theories without Effective Lagrangians
5.1 Open Systems
5.2 Master Equations and Long-time Behaviour
Lectures meet Fridays mornings from 09:00 to 10:30 and again Friday afternoons from 14:30 to 16:00 in the Alice Room at Perimeter Institute. Attendance to the lectures is not compulsory, but if you come I ask you to pay attention and not disrupt the class with personal conversation. I will do what I can to ensure that you do not have to gnaw your own arm off to stay awake. Those wishing to participate electronically should contact me to make arrangements to do so.
I will not follow a textbook, but list below some review articles that you might find useful.
Because I spend half my time at Perimeter Institute and half at McMaster University I may be hard to find in my office, so it is worth setting up any appointments in advance. Feel free to arrange a time with me on an individual basis. (I will make a point of being in my office for scheduled appointments, so if you do set up an appointment, please show up!)
Course Marking Scheme
The course mark is completely based on a term project which is due no later than Friday March 28, 2014. The project should describe an application of Effective Field Theories to the topic of your choice. (I can provide suggestions if you have no preferences.) Please let me know your topic before you get too far into it, so I can approve it.
Additional Work and Supplemental Exam:
Additional work will NOT be available for students who might wish to improve their marks. The standard McMaster rules apply regarding the availability of supplemental exams.
Reading you your rights:
The Centre for Student Development offers free academic skill support (see http://csd.mcmaster.ca for details).
Although hopefully it does not need saying, be warned that the University does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism and the like:
THE UNIVERSITY VALUES ACADEMIC INTEGRITY. THEREFORE ALL STUDENTS MUST UNDERSTAND THE MEANING AND CONSEQUENCES OF CHEATING, PLAGIARISM AND OTHER ACADEMIC OFFENCES UNDER THE CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
(see http://www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity for more information).