First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCO2045482, A.A. 2015/16

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2014/15

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1171, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2015/16
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge PARIDE PARADISI FIS/02
Other lecturers CARLO BROGGINI

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/02 Theoretical Physics, Mathematical Models and Methods 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2015
End of activities 28/01/2016
Show course schedule 2017/18 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 Fisica Astroparticellare 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 PARADISI PARIDE (Presidente)
6 Fisica Astroparticellare 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 PARADISI PARIDE (Presidente)
5 Fisica Astroparticellare 01/10/2016 30/09/2017 PARADISI PARIDE (Presidente)
4 Fisica Astroparticellare 01/10/2015 30/09/2016 PARADISI PARIDE (Presidente)

Prerequisites: The course is self-contained as the necessary basics of relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum field theory and general relativity will be provided during the course.
Target skills and knowledge: A full understanding of the earliest stages of our Universe during the first seconds after the Big Bang, requires not only a knowledge of cosmology and astrophysics but also of elementary particle physics. The aim of the course is to provide a marriage of these disciplines through an introduction of the Standard Models for cosmology and elementary particles.
Examination methods: Oral exam.
Assessment criteria: The evaluation of the oral examination will be based on the degree of understanding of the topics covered in class and on the ability to expose them in a logical and coherent way.
Course unit contents: 1) INTRODUCTION: the observable Universe and its expansion, Dark Matter, the left-overs from the Big Bang.
2) RELATIVISTIC QUANTUM MECHANICS: Dirac and Klein-Gordon Equations; nonrelativistic correspondence; antiparticles and their properties; discrete symmetries: P, T, and C and the CPT theorem.
3) QUANTUM FIELD THEORY: the Klein-Gordon, electromagnetic and Dirac fields; spin-statistics connection;
Noether's theorem; the energy-momenta tensor; radiation-matter interaction: covariant derivative and QED; scattering theory: S-matrix, Green functions, propagators, Feynman rules, cross-sections and decay rates.
4) SPONTANEOUS SYMMETRY BREAKING (SSB): SSB of discrete and continuous global symmetries; Goldstone theorem; SSB of continuous local symmetries: the Higgs mechanism; SSB at finite temperature.
5) THE STANDARD MODEL (SM) OF PARTICLE PHYSICS: Fermi theory; (V-A) x (V-A) theory; Yang-Mills theory; the standard electroweak theory; SSB of the electroweak symmetry; mass spectrum and particle interactions; CKM matrix; GIM mechanism; CP violation; flavor group of the SM: baryon and lepton (family) number conservation; the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC.
6) NEUTRINO PHYSICS: Dirac and Majorana masses; see-saw mechanism; massive neutrinos in the SM; PMNS matrix; GIM mechanism and the mu->e gamma decay rate; neutrinoless double beta-decay; neutrino oscillation in the vacuum and matter: the MSW effect; solar and atmospheric neutrinos; CP violation in neutrino physics; neutrino oscillation experiments; neutrinos from Supernovae.
7) BEYOND THE SM: Grand Unified Theories (GUTs); SU(5) model: SSB and Gauge hierarchy, coupling constant unification, proton decay, fermion masses and mixing angles; SO(10) and the see-saw mechanism.
8) GENERAL RELATIVITY: the Equivalence Principle; curved space-time, the energy-momentum tensor; Einstein's equations of Gravitation, the Schwarzschild solution.
9) COSMOLOGICAL MODELS: the de Sitter model; the Standard Model of Cosmology, FLRW metric, Friedmann equations; the Cosmological Constant.
10) THERMODYNAMICS IN THE EARLY UNIVERSE: equilibrium thermodynamics; entropy; decoupling temperatures.
11) DARK MATTER (DM): experimental evidences; freeze-out and DM; the Boltzmann equation; cold, hot and warm DM; Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs); DM Candidates in Particle Physics; cosmological bounds on neutrino masses; direct and inderect searches of DM.
12) INFLATION: problems of the Standard Big Bang model, the horizon problem, the flatness problem, the monopole problem; the Inflation mechanism; quantum fluctuations of the Inflaton; models for Inflation; Dark Energy.
13) BARYOGENESIS: Sakharov conditions; baryon (B) and lepton (L) numbers violation in particle interactions; B and L violation in the SM via anomalies; B--L conservation in the SM; electroweak mechanism; B violation in GUTs; asymmetry generation in particle decays; baryon asymmetry and neutrino masses: Leptogenesis.
14) Cosmic ray background; natural radioactivity; background suppression in underground laboratories (Gran Sasso).
15) Combustion of hydrogen in the sun, proton-proton chain and CNO cycle. Flux and spectrum of solar neutrinos.
16) Nuclear astrophysics measurements in underground laboratory, the experiment Luna at the Gran Sasso, study of the 3He combustion in the proton-proton chain.
17) Measurement of 14N(p,gamma)15O underground, results and consequences. Future measures for nuclear astrophysics. Solar neutrino experiments: radiochemical and direct, results and consequences.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Blackboard lectures.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The students will be provided with detailed notes on all the topics of the course. In a more detailed version of the program, which will be delivered to students at the beginning of the course, they will be shown paragraphs or chapters of the reference books where the discussion of the various topics of the course took more inspiration.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Bergstrom, Lars; Goobar, Ariel, Cosmology and particle astrophysics. Berlin: Springer, 2003. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Perkins, Donald H., Particle astrophysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Gorbunov, Dmitry S.; Rubakov, Valery A., Introduction to the Theory of the Early Universe: Hot Big Bang Theory. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Kolb, Edward W.; Turner, Michael S., The early universe. Redwood City: California, Addison-Wesley, 1994. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Bilenky, Samoil, Introduction to the physics of massive and mixed neutrinos. Berlin: Springer, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Giunti, Carlo; Kim, Chung Wood, Fundamentals of neutrino physics and astrophysics. Oxford: Oxford University press, 2007. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cheng, Ta-Pei; Li, Ling-Fong, Gauge theory of elementary particle physics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Schwartz, Matthew Dean, Quantum field theory and the standard modelMatthew D. Schwartz. Cambridge: Cambridge univ. press, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Peskin, Michael E.; Schroeder, Daniel V., An introduction to quantum field theory. Reading: Mass., Addison-Wesley, 1995. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Bjorken, James D.; Drell, Sidney D., Relativistic quantum mechanics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964. Cerca nel catalogo