This course will cover phenomenological studies and experimental searches for new physics beyond the Standard Model, including: naturalness, extra dimension, supersymmetry, grand unification, dark matter candidates (WIMPs and axions) and their detection.
This survey course introduces some advanced topics in quantum field theory and string theory. Topics may include anomalies, conformal field theory, and bosonic string theory and are subject to change depending on the topics covered in the TBD elective course.
Review of elementary general relativity. Timelike and null geodesic congruences. Hypersurfaces and junction conditions. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of general relativity. Mass and angular momentum of a gravitating body. The laws of black-hole mechanics.
This course introduces quantum field theory from scratch and then develops the theory of the quantum fluctuations of fields and particles. We will focus, in particular, on how quantum fields are affected by curvature and by spacetime horizons. This will lead us to the Unruh effect, Hawking radiation and to inflationary cosmology. Inflationary cosmology, which we will study in detail, is part of the current standard model of cosmology which holds that all structure in the universe - such as the distribution of galaxies - originated in tiny quantum fluctuations of a scalar field and of space-time itself. For intuition, consider that quantum field fluctuations of significant amplitude normally occur only at very small length scales. Close to the big bang, during a brief initial period of nearly exponentially fast expansion (inflation), such small-wavelength but large-amplitude quantum fluctuations were stretched out to cosmological wavelengths. In this way, quantum fluctuations are thought to have seeded the observed inhomogeneities in the cosmic microwave background - which in turn seeded the condensation of hydrogen into galaxies and stars, all closely matching the increasingly accurate astronomical observations over recent years. The prerequisites for this course are a solid understanding of quantum theory and some basic knowledge of general relativity, such as FRW spacetimes.
This course will introduce you to some of the geometrical structures underlying theoretical physics. Previous knowledge of differential geometry is not required. Topics covered in the course include: Introduction to manifolds, differential forms, symplectic manifolds, symplectic version of Noether’s theorem, integration on manifolds, fiber bundles, principal bundles and applications to gauge theory.
The Gravitational Physics course takes your knowledge and practice of gravity to the next level. We start by recapping the essential elements of differential geometry, adding some new techniques to the toolbox, then apply some of these methods to learning about submanifolds, extra dimensions, and black hole thermodynamics. Towards the end of the course, we delve into the frontiers, with a sample of recent research topics.