Before and Behind the Standard Model


Lecturer(s) :

Wulzer Andrea




Every 2 years


Next time: Spring 2021


The course offers a conceptually and methodologically advanced overview of the Standard Model and of some of its extensions. It provides the students with the basic tools and with the first elements of “Beyond the SM” model-building and phenomenology.


Students will first learn advanced theoretical tools such as Effective Field Theories, the Stueckelberg approach to gauge invariance in connection with renormalizability, and the Equivalence Theorem. These tools will be applied to the theoretical and phenomenological study of illustrative Beyond-the-SM (BSM) scenarios.


Part 1: Before the SM:

This part is built around the concept of 'No-Lose Theorems', defined as absolute guarantees of discovering new phenomena under suitable experimental conditions. It is argued that the existence of these theorems is what made high energy physics play the leading role in fundamental research over the last half a century. Three No-Lose Theorems are presented, together with all the theoretical tools needed for their formulation and for drawing their implications. The detailed program reads:


Part 2: Behind the SM:

The first aim is to provide a concrete illustration of the special phenomenological properties of the SM that make is so suited to describe observations, and of how even seemingly mild SM extension may not possess these properties and enter in conflict with observations. The second one is to discuss two of the open problems of the SM, Naturalness and Dark Matter, explaining how and to what extent they can be solved in specific BSM scenarios. The tentative program is:


Higgs Model, Beyond the Standard Model, Effective Field Theory, High-Energy Physics

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

Basic knowledge of the Standard Model and of Quantum Field Theory is required

Expected student activities

Appreciate those aspects that make the Standard Higgs Model unique as a description of Electroweak interactions and of Electroweak symmetry breaking. Gain concepts and tools needed to design further experimental test of the Higgs model at the LHC and future colliders.

In the programs

    • Semester
    • Exam form
    • Credits
    • Subject examined
      Before and Behind the Standard Model
    • Lecture
      28 Hour(s)

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German