Module Overview

Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Particle Physics – This module develops current knowledge on the physics and interactions of subatomic particles within the context of experimental verification of the Standard Model. The principles of quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics will be introduced and developed as a method for understanding the structure and interaction between fundamental particles.


Astrophysics – Techniques used in physics (notably particle physics and astrophysics) are applied to a selection of problems in the field. The subject of "cosmic rays" provides a neat segue between particle physics and astrophysics. The aim of this part of the module is to familiarise students with astrophysics and in particular with the relationship between particle physics and astrophysics.

Module Code

PHYS 4809

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Particle Physics

  • Particle families and interactions. Symmetries and conservation laws.
  • Particle collisions and relativistic kinematics.
  • Feynman diagrams. Leptons, neutrino mixing and oscillations, neutrino masses. The neutral kaon system.
  • Evidence for quarks, quark generations. The quark model, coloured quarks and gluons, reactions and decay. Quantum chromo-dynamics and the strong interaction.
  • Weak interactions and electroweak unification.



  • Our place in the Cosmos.
  • The evolution of low-mass stars.
  • The evolution of high-mass stars.
  • Degenerate matter, novae, supernovae neutron stars, pulsars and black holes.
  • Population I, II and III stars.
  • Metallicity and the chemical evolution of the interstellar medium in the Galaxy.
  • Cosmic rays – their origin and effects on the interstellar medium.
  • Galaxies and cosmology.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination48
Other Assessment(s)52