AM 529b, Winter 2004

Introduction to Supersymmetry

Time & Place: M 16:00-17:30, W 13:00-14:00; Room: WSC 156

Instructor: Alex Buchel, office: WSC 115, Ext: 88794, E-mail: abuchel[at]

Office hours: after lecture or by appointment.

Site menu:
Prerequisites Course Outline Text Course Evaluation Lecture Notes Homework Other Notes Feedback


On the physics side, the minimum requirement is:
1. Lagrangian formulation of classical mechanics.
2. Maxwell equations, Lorentz invariance (special relativity).
3. Quantum Mechanics.
A basic knowledge of QFT (gauge theories, Feynmann diagrams, renormalization) is highly desirable. If you did not take a QFT course before, I strongly recommend to enroll simultaneously into AM 516a. Quantum Field Theory, taught by Prof. Gerry McKeon this semester. In this course we will be using low-energy effective action approach to (supersymmetric) QFT's, which is complementary to the techniques developed in AM 516a.

On the math side:
1. Analysis on the complex plane (holomorphy, analytical continuation)
2. Rudimentory group theory (SU(2), Lorentz group).

Course outline:

I. Qualitative supersymmetry:
II. Perturbative supersymmetry:
III. Nonabeliean gauge theories:
IV. Nonperturbative supersymmetry:
V. Supersymmetric theories with low-energy photons (Seiberg-Witten model)


The primary text are lecture notes "Introduction to Global Supersymmetry" by Philip Argyres, available at

Course evaluation:

Course grade will be based on 2 homework assignments. There will be no final exam. For people really interested in learning the subject, there will be additional 'suggested exercises' at the end of each lecture. I will not post solutions to these additional problems, but will be happy to discuss them during my office hours.

Lecture notes:

Additional lecture notes will be posted here.


Homework/solutions will be posted here.

Other notes:

1. A very nice introductory book to N=1 supersymmetry in four dimensions is by Julius Wess and Jonathan Bagger, "Supersymmetry and Supergravity"
2. A more advanced book is "Superspace, or 1001 Lessons in Supersymmetry" by Jim Gates, Marc Grisaru, Martin Rocek and Warren Siegel, available at


Feedback to the instructor regarding the quality, speed, and content of presentation is especially appreciated during the semester!