Relativistic Quantum Electrodynamics

Winter term 2023-2024

Lecture: W.P. Schleich

Tutorials: M. Tschaffon and A. Wolf

Monday, 8:15 - 11:00   N24/251

First lecture: Monday, October 23, 8:15-11:00 (N24/251)

Tuesday, 8:15 - 10:00   N24/254 
Friday, 10:15 - 12:00   O25/306

Exercise sheets will be provided via Moodle.


Whereas the first course of quantum mechanics focuses on developing the concepts and the formalism of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, the course “Relativistic Quantum Electrodynamics“ addresses relativistic quantum field theory and, in particular, quantum electrodynamics.


  • Relativistic wave equations

    • Klein-Gordon-equation

    • Dirac-equation

    • Spinors

  • Gauge invariance

  • Quantization of the electromagnetic field

  • Interaction of an electron with the electromagnetic field

    • Dyson-series and time ordering

    • S-matrix

    • Feynman-diagrams

  • Evaluation of Feynman diagrams and renormalization

    • Mass- and charge renormalization

    • Electron self-energy

    • Vaccum-polarization

Lecture notes

  • Lecture notes will be provided in the lectures.

Supplementary literature

1.) Quantum Electrodynamics and Quantum Field Theory

  • Claude Itzykson, Jean-Bernard Zuber - Quantum Field Theory (Dover Books on Physics, 2006)

  • Frantz Mandl, Graham Shaw – Quantum Field Theory (Wiley, 2010)

  • Freeman J. Dyson - Advanced Quantum Mechanics (World Scientific Publishing, 2003)

  • James D. Bjorken, Sidney D. Drell – Relativistic Quantum Mechanics (Mc-Graw-Hill, 1964)

  • Michael E. Peskin, Daniel V. Schroeder – An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (Frontiers in Physics, CRC Press, 2015)

  • Tom Lancaster – Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur (Oxford University Press, 2015)

  • Matthew D. Schwartz – Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model (Cambridge University Press, 2014)


2.) Classical Relativistic Field Theory

  • A. O. Barut – Electrodynamics and Classical Theory of Fields & Particles (Dover Books on Physics, 1980)


3.) Quantum Mechanics

  • Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Bernard Diu, Frank Laloe - Quantum Mechanics, Vol. I and II (Wiley, 1977)