Postgraduate course

Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codePHYS203
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish if English speaking students attend the seminars, otherwise Norwegian
  • Resources

Semester of Instruction

Autumn, the course runs only if enough students enrol .

Objectives and Content

The course covers relativistic quantum mechanics, expressed by the Dirac equation, Lorentz covariance of the equation, antiparticles, and Klein's paradox. The course also covers quantization of the Klein-Gordon field, the Dirac field and the photon field. The course forms the basis for understanding relativistic effects in atomic physics, and for studying interacting quantum fields. It is the basis for PHYS342.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the students should be able to

  • explain the Dirac equation, with free-particle solutions
  • determine non-relativistic limit and electron spin
  • explain the existence of antiparticles
  • explain symmetries and conservation laws
  • explain plane-wave expansions of scalar, Dirac and the photon fields
  • explain canonical momentum and quantization of fields
  • explain causality and the Feynman propagator
  • explain the S-matrix expansion and interactions of electrons and photons

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

The course is based on PHYS201, in addition MAT251 is recommended previous knowledge.

Forms of Assessment

Oral exam

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Oral examination

    Withdrawal deadline