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PAP336 Higgs Physics, 5 cr 
Code PAP336  Validity 01.01.2017 -
Name Higgs Physics  Abbreviation Higgs Physics 
Scope5 cr   
TypeAdvanced studies
  GradingGeneral scale 
    Can be taken more than onceno
Unit Master's Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences 

Target group 

Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences is responsible for the course.

Modules where the course belong to:

  • PAP300 Advanced Studies in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
    Optional for:
    1. Study Track in Particle Physics and Cosmology
  • TCM300 Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Computational Methods

The course is available to students from other degree programmes.


Can be taken after introduction to particle physics courses, but quantum field theory I/II recommended to take at the same time or earlier.

Given every second year (even years) in the spring term (III-IV periods).

Learning outcomes 

The student will learn

  • principle of Higgs mechanism, and the reasons behind it, e.g. unitarity in the Standard Model
  • to apply Higgs mechanism in various models, including the Standard Model and minimal supersymmetric standard model
  • the consequences of Higgs mechanism (Higgs branching ratios, Higgs production)
  • effects of radiative corrections on Higgs physics
  • effective potential, its improvement
  • vacuum stability, fixed point and triviality
  • use of various Higgs representations, e.g. in grand unification
Completion methods 

Lectures are each week, exercise session for the returned homework are once per week. In the end of the term, there is a written home exam.


Introduction to particle physics I/II or corresponding knowledge.

Recommended optional studies 
  • Quantum field theory I/II
  • Supersymmetry
  • Higgs mechanism: U(1) gauge theory
  • Symmetries and symmetry breaking - Goldstone theory
  • The Standard Model. Unitarity.
  • Higgs branching ratios
  • Production of Higgs
  • Radiative corrections to Higgs mass
  • The Standard Model effective potential. Renormalization group improvement.
  • Vacuum stability. Fixed point and triviality.
  • The minimal supersymmetric standard model. The Higgs potential. Radiative electroweak symmetry breaking.
  • Masses of the Higgs bosons. Radiative corrections to Higgs couplings.
  • Explicit CP violation with radiative corrections
  • SUSY Higgs decay modes
  • SUSY Higgs production at colliders
  • Grand unification: SU(5) GUT
Study materials and literature 

Lecture notes.


  • J. Gunion, H. Haber, G. Kane, S. Dawson: The Higgs Hunter's Guide
    (Addison Wesley, 1990)
  • M. Sher: Electroweak Higgs potentials and vacuum stability
    (Phys.Rep. 179 (1989) 273-418)
  • S. Dawson: Introduction to electroweak symmetry breaking (hep-ph/9901280)
  • M. Carena, H. Haber: Higgs boson theory and phenomenology (hep-ph/0208209)
Activities and teaching methods in support of learning 

Weekly lectures and exercises (individual work).Final exam. Total hours 135.

Assessment practices and criteria 

The written home exam contributes 75%, while  howework including active participation in the lectures contributes 25% to the final grade.


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