Study Programmes 2016-2017
Relativistic quantum mechanics and relativistic statistics
Duration :
20h Th, 5h Pr
Number of credits :
Master in physics (120 ECTS)4
Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)3
Master in physics (60 ECTS)4
Lecturer :
Peter Schlagheck
Language(s) of instruction :
French language
Organisation and examination :
Teaching in the first semester, review in January
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite :
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Learning unit contents :
The aim of this course is to familiarize the student with relativistic quantum mechanics. It essentially covers the relativistic wave equations (Klein-Gordon, Dirac, Maxwell) for spin 0, spin 1/2 or spin 1 particles. It is explained through the formalism of second quantization how such equations imply a bosonic or fermionic character of the associated particles.
Topics of the course in detail: - special relativity - Maxwell's equations - quantization of fields - Klein-Gordon equation - Dirac equation - Pauli equation and its relativistic corrections
Learning outcomes of the learning unit :
Principal objectives of this course: - to understand the notion of relativistic covariance and its implications - to get familiarized with the fundamental equations (Maxwell/Klein-Gordon and Dirac) that govern the dynamics of the elementary particles in our universe - to understand the association of the (integer or half-integer) spin with the (bosonic or fermionic) statistics of a particle - to understand how non-relativistic quantum mechanics emerges as limiting case of relativistic quantum mechanics - to prepare for the course "Quantum field theory"
Prerequisite knowledge and skills :
Having followed an introductory course on non-relativistic quantum mechanics
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :
The course will be given "ex cathedra" on the blackboard.
Recommended or required readings :
Recommended literature: - J. Bjorken & S. Drell: "Relativistic Quantum Mechanics" (McGraw-Hill, 1964) - A.S. Davydov: "Quantum Mechanics" (chapter VIII) (Pergamon, 1965) - W. Greiner: "Relativistic Quantum Mechanics: Wave Equations" (Springer 1987) - L.D. Landau & E.M. Lifshits: "Relativistic Quantum Theory" (Pergamon, 1971)
Assessment methods and criteria :
The evaluation will be done by an individual oral exam of 30 minutes on the contents of the course.
Work placement(s) :
Organizational remarks :
Contacts :
Peter Schlagheck Département de Physique Université de Liège IPNAS, building B15, office 0/125 Sart Tilman 4000 Liège Phone: 04 366 9043 Email:
Items online :
lecture notes
lecture notes