SI2390 Relativistic Quantum Physics 7.5 credits

Relativistisk kvantfysik

"Relativistic Quantum Physics" is a course where important theories for elementary particle physics and symmetries are learned. During the course, it will be illustrated how relativistic symmetries and gauge symmetries can restrict "possible" theories. The course will give an introduction to perturbation theory and Feynman diagrams. The problem with divergencies will be mentioned and the concepts for regularization and renormalization will be illustrated.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Spring 19 for programme students

Spring 20 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course you should be able to:

  • apply the Poincaré group as well as classify particle representations.
  • analyze the Klein-Gordon and the Dirac equations.
  • solve the Weyl equation.
  • know Maxwell's equations and classical Yang-Mills theory.
  • quantize Klein-Gordon, Dirac, and Majorana fields as well as formulate the Lagrangian for these fields.
  • use perturbation theory in simple quantum field theories.
  • formulate the Lagrangian for quantum electrodynamics as well as analyze this.
  • derive Feynman rules from simple quantum field theories as well as interpret Feynman diagrams.
  • analyze elementary processes in quantum electrodynamics.
  • compute radiative corrections to elementary processes in quantum electrodynamics.

Course main content

I. Relativistic quantum mechanics

Tensor notation. Casimir operators. The Poincaré group. Irreducible representations of particles. The Klein-Gordon equation. The Dirac equation. The structure of Dirac particles. The Dirac equation: central potentials. The Weyl equation. Maxwell's equations and quantization of the electromagnetic field. Introduction to Yang-Mills theory.

II. Introduction to quantum field theory

Neutral and charged Klein-Gordon fields. The Dirac field. The Majorana field. Asymptotic fields: LSZ formulation. Perturbation theory. Introduction to quantum electrodynamics. Interacting fields and Feynman diagrams. Elementary processes of quantum electrodynamics. Introduction to radiative corrections.


Recommended prerequisites:
Quantum Physics.
Relativity Theory.
Analytical Mechanics and Classical Field Theory (recommended).


The course literature consists of one book (mainly):

  • T. Ohlsson, Relativistic Quantum Physics, Cambridge (2011)

Further recommended reading:

  • A.Z. Capri, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, World Scientific (2002)
  • C. Doran and A. Lasenby, Geometric Algebra for Physicists, Cambridge (2003)
  • W. Greiner, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics - Wave Equations, Springer (2000)
  • F. Gross, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory, Wiley (1993)
  • J. Mickelsson, T. Ohlsson, and H. Snellman, Relativity Theory, KTH (2005)
  • M.E. Peskin and D.V. Schroeder, Introduction to Quantum Field Theory, Harper-Collins (1995)
  • H.M. Pilkuhn, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Springer (2003)
  • L.H. Ryder, Quantum Field Theory, 2nd ed., Cambridge (1996)
  • F. Schwabl, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Springer (1999)
  • F.J. Ynduráin, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Introduction to Field Theory, Springer (1996)


  • INL1 - Assignments, 4.5, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0, grading scale: P, F

Requirements for final grade

Hand in assignments (INL1; 4,5 university credits) and an oral exam (TEN1; 3 university credits).

Offered by

SCI/Undergraduate Physics


Tommy Ohlsson (


Tommy Ohlsson <>


Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2011.
Examination information valid from: Autumn 2007.