Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (PHYS*7030)

Code and section: PHYS*7030*01

Term: Winter 2020

Instructor: Alexandros Gezerlis


Course Information


Alex Gezerlis
MacN 219


Tuesday & Thursday
11:30 am – 12:50 pm


Mini Link Rooms (C2-278 at University of Waterloo; MacN203 at University of Guelph)


In addition to the standard set of topics covered in a first course on relativistic quantum field theory, I will emphasize classical fields (Noether’s theorem) and non-relativistic quantum field theory (in the Lagrangian formalism). Here is a tentative outline:

  • Relativistic notation
  • Scalar fields 
  • Canonical quantization
  • Non-relativistic field theory
  • Interacting fields
  • Classical electromagnetism
  • Scalar quantum electrodynamics
  • Diracology
  • Quantum electrodynamics

Final Exam

In light of the COVID-19 campus restrictions, this will be completed as a take home exam: Due April 14


The lectures and my notes will synthesize material from varied sources, i.e. I will not be following a specific textbook. In addition to the recommended texts given below, I will also refer to specific chapters from other books as the need arises.

Recommended texts

  • M. E. Peskin & D. V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (Westview Press, 1995).
  • M. Schwartz, Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • S. Weinberg, The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 1: Foundations (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  • A. L. Fetter and J. D. Walecka, Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems (Dover, 2003).

Expected background

I expect that all students will be comfortable with undergraduate classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics (e.g. Poisson brackets, Maxwell’s equations, Dirac notation). Also, topics from graduate quantum mechanics will be briefly restated but essentially taken for granted (e.g. the Heisenberg picture, the Klein-Gordon equation). It would also be good if you’ve seen second quantization before. Students who are uncertain about their background preparation should contact me. Note that Physics 701/7010 (or equivalent) is a prerequisite.


The course evaluation structure will be finalized as soon as the number of students enrolled is fixed. It will consist of homework assignments and an in-class final exam.

Office Hours

By appointment.


E-mail Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their <> e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the graduate calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Drop Date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is April 3rd, 2020. Two-semester courses must be dropped by the last day of the add period in the second semester.  Refer to the Graduate Calendar for the schedule of dates:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community – faculty, staff, and students – to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.  University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct.  Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.   The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the Graduate Calendar:

Recording of Materials

Presentations which are made in relation to course work—including lectures—cannot be recorded in any electronic media without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a classmate or guest lecturer.


The Graduate Calendar is the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies and regulations which apply to graduate programs: