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This fall's Delta ITP Course Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics aimed at advanced Master’s students, PhD and postdoctoral researchers, is built around the general theme of 'Non-equilibrium quantum field theory'. The course is part of the educational program of Delta ITP, a joint initiative between the Universities of Leiden (UL), Utrecht (UU), and Amsterdam (UvA). The lectures are given by professors from these three universities, on topics that change every semester.

Event details of Fall 2017 Non-equilibrium quantum field theory
Start date 11 September 2017
End date 21 December 2017
Time 11:00

This is an advanced master level course, also suitable for PhD students and postdocs.  The course will be divided into three 5-week  modules. For each one there are four lectures (2 hrs each) and four exercise sessions (4 hrs each).

At the end of the module there is an exam. All exams are pass/fail. You need to pass all three exams to receive credit for the course. Please register for the course, also if you do not take the course for credit. Note also that we cannot process your grade if you are not registered. PhD students are not obliged to do the exams, which are meant for Master students who intend to use this course as part of their Master Program.

The location of this semester's course rotates between the three institutes. The first module is in Utrecht, the second in Leiden, and the third in Amsterdam.

Course summary

Module 1: Introduction to non-equilibrium QFT - Tomislav Prokopec (Utrecht) 
Module 2: Non-equilibrium QFT in condensed matter - Vadim Cheianov (Leiden) 
Module 3: Quantum field theory in curved spacetime - Ben Freivogel (Amsterdam)


Lectures will take place on Mondays at 11:15 - 13:00, followed by a study/exercise session 13:45 - end.  

Travel Cost Reimbursement:

Students who do not have an OV-card from the Dutch government can have their travel costs reimbursed from Delta ITP. Please contact your local organiser (below) for details.

Module 1: Introduction to non-equilibrium QFT - Tomislav Prokopec (UU)

Lectures: Sep 11, 18, 25, Oct 2

Location/Room: BBG 7.12 (in Utrecht)

EXAM: Oct 9 (13-17 hrs) in BBG 7.12  

In this mini-course we shall discuss basics of non-equilibrium quantum physics. For simplicity, to a large extent we shall develop the relevant concepts in quantum mechanical systems and then indicate how our results generalize to quantum field-theoretic setting. We shall cover the following topics:  

  • The density operator and entropy
  • Propagators and two-point functions
  • The Schwinger-Keldysh or the in-in formalism
  • Applications

Module 2: Non-equilibrium QFT in condensed matter - Vadim Cheianov (UL)

Lectures: Oct 16, 23, 30, Nov 6

Location/Room: Niels Bohrweg 2, Huygens Laboratory, room HL 226, Leiden

EXAM: Nov 13

This module will focus on applications of quantum theory of non-equilibrium processes in condensed matter systems.

  • Quantum tunneling
  • Quantum impurity problems

  • Transport in disordered systems

  • Superconductors

Module 3: Quantum field theory in curved spacetime - Ben Freivogel (UvA) 

Lectures: Nov 20, 27, Dec 4, 11

Location/Room: Nikhef, Science Park 105, room H.331, Amsterdam

EXAM: Dec 18, Room G2.10

This module will focus on techniques and results from quantum field theory in curved spacetimes, such as the real world. Important applications we will cover include:

  • Quantum fluctuations during inflation that generate the temperature fluctuations in the CMB

  • Hawking radiation from black holes and the black hole information paradox


Dr. Koenraad Schalm | email: kschalm [at]

Institute-Lorentz for Theoretical Physics | LeidenUniversity | Niels Bohrweg 2 | 2335 CA Leiden

Dr. Enrico Pajer | e-mail: e.pajer [at]

Institute for Theoretical Physics | Utrecht University

Prof. Wouter Waalewijn | e-mail: w.j.waalewijn [at]

Institute for Theoretical Physics | Institute of Physics | University of Amsterdam | Science Park 904 | 1098 XH Amsterdam