PHYS T580: The Standard Model (2018)

Much of the work you've done in your previous physics courses have been based on the assumption that there is a more fundamental theory which ties everything together. The Standard Model is the best thing we have to describing all that there is in Nature. We will see where the fundamental forces come from, how they interact, how we predict particles, and ultimately how we might find a Grand Unified Theory.

This is a particularly exciting course for me. I first taught it four years ago, and there was no textbook that was just right for what I wanted to do. Instead, I wrote one. It's called The Standard Model in a Nutshell, and was published last year by Princeton University Press. We'll be talking about all aspects of physics, from relativity, to fundamental symmetries and group theory, and even on to some elementary quantum field theory. I'm aware that most of you haven't seen these topics before, but don't fret. This is going to be a highly active learning environment.

[Course Information] [Announcements] [Material and Links]

Course Information

A complete discussion of course policies can be found in the
course syllabus (Current Version: 3/27/2018).

Prof. Dave Goldberg (
Office: Disque Hall Room 810
Phone: x2715
Office Hours: M 12-1, Th 2-3, Fr 3-4 or by appointment in advance.

MWF 10-11, Disque 919


I will also supplement with handouts as needed.


  • On Wednesday, May 9, we'll have an in-class midterm exam. It will be based on material from Chapters 1-5 in Standard Model in a Nutshell (and the corresponding lecture and discussion, of course). The exam will be closed book, except for the equation sheet below and calculators will not be permitted.

    To help you prepare:

    Please be aware that the material (including order of presentation) changes from year to year a bit, so some material on the old exams will be unfamiliar. Don't fret about that. Only material covered in 2 of 3 of class, homework, and reading will be included in our exam.
  • On Tuesday, June 12, at 10:30am, we'll have a final exam in Curtis 352. This will be comprehensive (obviously) with emphasis given to the latter half of the course. It will be based on material from Chapters 1-10 (up to and including mixing of particles), but will not explicitly include the Strong Force. (Though I reserve the right to ask you about SU(3)). The exam is 2 hours, and, as with the midterm, will be closed book.

    As with the midterm, the exam will be closed book, except for the equation sheet below and calculators will not be permitted.

    To help you prepare:

Materials and Links

Homework Assignments


  • Assignment 1: 1.1, 1.4, 1.6, 1.10, 1.13 -- Due April 9, 2018
  • Assignment 2: 2.3, 2.7, 2.9 -- Due April 16, 2018
  • Assignment 3: 3.3, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9
Other Materials

  • A 2-d simulation tool for visualizing scalar fields. [Link]