A Simple Introduction to Particle Physics: Part II Geometric Foundations and Relativity



Robinson, Matthew Brandon, 1981-
Ali, Tibra
Cleaver, Gerald B.

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This is the second in a series of papers intended to provide a basic overview of some of the major ideas in particle physics. Part I [40] was primarily an algebraic exposition of gauge theories. We developed the group theoretic tools needed to understand the basic construction of gauge theory, as well as the physical concepts and tools to understand the structure of the Standard Model of Particle Physics as a gauge theory. In this paper (and the paper to follow), we continue our emphasis on gauge theories, but we do so with a more geometrical approach. We will conclude this paper with a brief discussion of general relativity, and save more advanced topics (including fibre bundles, characteristic classes, etc.) for the next paper in the series. We wish to reiterate that these notes are not intended to be a comprehensive introduc- tion to any of the ideas contained in them. Their purpose is to introduce the “forest" rather than the “trees". The primary emphasis is on the algebraic/geometric/mathematical un- derpinnings rather than the calculational/phenomenological details. The topics were chosen according to the authors’ preferences and agenda. These notes are intended for a student who has completed the standard undergradu- ate physics and mathematics courses, as well as the material contained in the first paper in this series. Having studied the material in the “Further Reading" sections of [40] would be ideal, but the material in this series of papers is intended to be self-contained, and familiarity with the first paper will suffice.