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Physics of Elementary Particles


Admission Requirements

Speciale Relativiteitstheorie, Klassieke Mechanica a, Classical Electrodynamics and Quantum Mechanics 2


This course gives an introduction to the physics of elementary particles and their interactions. It starts with atoms, nuclei, nucleons and builds up towards a description of the Standard Model of Particle Physics and a basic understanding of the strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions. The course will also introduce the relevant tools and methods to investigate on the particles and their interactions.

Course objectives

The students should after the course be familiar with the topics listed below and can apply the involved concepts.

  • Basic relativistic kinematics in particle decays and scattering – Nuclear models and nuclear decays – Different detection methods used for particle physics experiments – Quark model – Particle interactions (electromagnetic, weak, strong) – Symmetries in particle interactions (Parity, Charge conjugation)



Mode of instruction

Exercise sessions
Excursion to Nikhef – National institute for Subatomic Physics (voluntary)

Assessment method

Written exam with short questions and calculations.

The final grade will be based on the exam results, extra credits can be earned via homework and a voluntary essay (to write and to review others).


Lectures and exercises will be available on blackboard
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

Mandatory books:
1.Introduction to Elementary Particle Physics, David Griffith
2.Particles and Nuclei – An introduction to the Physical Concepts, Bogdan Povh, Klaus Rith, Christoph Scholz, Frank Zetsche, 7th edition, 2015

Online resource: The Review of Particle Physics (

Further books (not mandatory): Particles and Fundamental Interactions, Sylvie Braibant, Giorgio Giacomelli, Maurizio Spurio

Introduction to Particle Physics, Alessandro Bettini


Contact details lecturer: Dr. D.F.E. Samtleben (Dorothea)