3rd Summer School and Internship Programme at CTP
CTP - BUE (24 July - 3 August 2023)


Outlines of Lectures and Project Abstracts

We are happy to announce the third annual session of the 3rd Summer School and Internship Programme at CTP organized by the Centre for Theoretical Physics (CTP) at The British University in Egypt (BUE). This is a pedagogical scheme aimed at advanced undergraduate and beginning postgraduate students in physics, mathematics, or engineering. It allows highly motivated potential researchers to attend short courses on scientific topics not widely taught or researched in Egypt; such as general relativity and cosmology, quantum field theory and black hole physics. Among our motivations is to provide a taste of active research areas in fundamental physics and astrophysics; to familiarize students with topical problems and proposed solutions. This year's programme will include a more thorough discussion of currently topical issues in galaxy formation, as well as an introduction to machine learning, with applications to high energy physics, and to the fundamentals of quantum computing. As was the case last year, we expect to have lectures on the standard model of particle physics and the search for physics beyond it. In addition, as in past two years, there will be student projects, which will include training with numerical computation and symbolic manipulation packages (such as GRTensor). The courses are listed as follows:

I- Lectures:

  • General Relativity (Adel Awad)
    • Foundations of GR: General covariance and the equivalence principle
    • The field equations
    • Black hole physics
  • Physical Cosmology (Amr El-Zant)
    • The maximally symmetric universe: Evidence and evolution
    • Evolution of its components: Matter, radiation and dark energy
    • Distance measures and cosmological parameter estimation
    • The hot big bang and the advent of the cosmic microwave background
    • Elementary introduction to parameter estimation from the CMB
    • Growth of perturbations and large-scale structure in the Universe
    • Press-Schecter formalism and the dark halo mass function
    • Galaxy formation in context of the standard cosmological model: successes and challenges
  • Quantum Field Theory and Inflationary Cosmology (Alexey Golovnev)
    • From classical mechanics to fields
    • The structure of quantum mechanics
    • Free field quantization
    • Inflation
    • Quantum fluctuations as sources of cosmological perturbations
    • Introduction cosmological perturbation theory
    • Interactions between scalar fields
  • The Standard Model of Particle Physics (ElSayed Lashin)
    • Weak interactions (Fermi model and its discontents)
    • Higgs mechanism
    • The standard model
  • Sketch of Grand Unification Theories and Supersymmetry (Ahmed Moursy)
    • Grand unified theories
    • Supersymmetry
  • Machine Learning (Ahmed Hammad)
    • Overview of ML and quantum ML in physics
    • Introduction to ML, linear and non-linear regression models
    • Ensemble learning, Decision Trees, Random Forest and Boosted decision trees
    • Introduction to deep learning and Feed Forward deep neural network
    • Convolution based neural network for image recognition
    • (Optional, time permitting, auto-encoders and variational auto-encoders for anomaly detection)
    • Introduction to QML, quantum gates, quantum feature map and data embeddings
    • Variational quantum classifier for non-linear separable data analysis
    • (Optional: Hybrid classical-quantum models for image recognition)
  • Statistical methods in Astronomy (Mahmoud Hashim)
    • Probability and Statistical Distributions
    • Classical Statistical Inference
    • Bayesian Statistical Inference
  • Introduction to Quantum Information (Mohammad AlFiky)
    • Quantum entanglement
    • Quantum teleportation
    • EPR paradox and Bell inequality

II- Reading List:

  • General Relativity
    • Pedro Fereira's lecture notes, https://users.ox.ac.uk/~dpmp0062/B3..pdf.
      (Elementary introduction, including background cosmological evolution and basics of black holes.)
    • Sean Carroll, "Introduction to General Relativity", Addison Wesley
  • Physical Cosmology
    • Andrew Liddle, "An Introduction to Modern Cosmology", Wiley.
      (Elementary Newtonian-based introduction to background cosmology, while touching on more advanced subjects such as the CMB.)
    • John Peacock, "Large Scale Structure Surveys", https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Sept03/Peacock/frames.html .
      (These notes still constitute a very useful , simple and concise, introduction to the perturbed universe.)
    • Wayne Hu's CMB pages, http://background.uchicago.edu/~whu/index.html.
      (Introducing the Cosmic Microwave Background at several levels of complexity.)
    • Galaxy Formation and Evolution,
      (Introducing galaxy formation in a cosmological context. Much more comprehensive, advanced and involved than we will have time for, but still useful to dip into as we introduce specific subjects and point to relavant chapters in the lectures.)
  • Introduction to Quantum Information
    • Background:
      • Familiarity with the basic postulates of quantum mechanics (Hilbert space, quantum states, normalization and probabilities, observables and hermitian operators, commuting observables, Schrodinger equation and time evolution).
      • Familiarity of spin-half system and Stern-Gerlach experiment (quantum states of spin-half particles in different spin basis, Pauli spin matrices, Dirac notation).
      • Familiarity of basic linear algebra (vector spaces, basis, eigenvalue equation, linear operators and their matrix representation, change of basis).
    • Review material for the above (highly recommended):
  • Quantum Feild Theory and Inflationary Cosmology and Standard Model
    • Steven Weinberg, "Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, CUP".
    • V. Mukhanov and S. Vinitzki, "Introduction to Quantum Effects in Gravity" ,
      (Elementary aspects of free field quantization and effects of a curved background, CUP (Part I most relevant). Also introduces Hawking radiation.)
    • W. Buchmuller and C. Ludeling, "Field Theory and Standard Model",
      (For the lectures on interacting fields and also those on the standard model.)
  • Statistical methods in Astronomy
    • Željko Ivezić et al, “Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astronomy: A Practical Python Guide for the Analysis of Survey Data”.

III- Project Descriptions:

  • Chaos in N-body Trajectories (Supervisors: Amr El-Zant and Mahmoud Hashim):

    Self-gravitating N-body systems are ubiquitous in astrophysics, as a first approximation to everything from small star clusters to superclusters of galaxies. Except for the most compact objects, and the largest scales approaching the cosmological horizon, the Newtonian approximation is adequate. Nevertheless, Newton himself famously noted that, beyond N= 2 bodies, the N-body problem gave him a headache. From a modern point of view the pain partly comes from the fact that systems are not ‘integrable’, in the sense o being solvable in terms of symmetry principles (leading to enough conserved quantities as degrees of freedom). The ‘chaotic’ nature of the problem makes it difficult to tackle, and tricky to understand the meaning of it numerical simulation, due to the associated information loss. In this project (s) we investigate the divergence of various dynamical quantities (in 6-N phase space and in energy and angular momentum space) of neighbouring N-body trajectories when significant softening is present. Goals are to study effects of variation of: [1] Particle numbers and find optimal softening that minimizes divergence, [2] Numerical (ir)reversibility of (exactly reversible) trajectories, [3] In-out of (dynamical) equilibrium initial conditions (optional).

  • Confronting alternative ΛCDM models against cosmological observations (Supervisor: Mahmoud Hashim):

    In this project we are going to test different alternative models to the standard model of cosmology – ΛCDM - as possible solutions to problems that it faces, e.g., 𝐻0 and 𝜎8 tensions. We will use Bayesian inference (or likelihood analysis) to test these models against different cosmological datasets (Supernovae, cosmic microwave background etc...). Required skills: Basic Knowledge of cosmology (at the level of the book Introduction to Cosmology by Andrew Liddle or Amr El-Zant’s lectures). Intermediate knowledge of Python; Basic knowledge of Linux.

  • GR Tensor (Supervisor: Waleed El Hanafy):

    General Relativity is the most successful theory describing gravity so far. The theory encodes the gravitational field as a curvature of spacetime. It has many applications in astrophysics and cosmology. Indeed, these applications intersect with general area of differential geometry, which needs some basic knowledge of tensor calculus. Fortunately, the GRTensor II package provides an easy tool to calculate tensor components on curved spacetimes, specified in terms of a given metric. The package contains a library of standard definitions designed for use in the field of general relativity. GRTensor II is not a standalone package, but requires an algebraic engine (originally developed to run with different versions of Maple). A limited version has been designed to run with Mathematica. GRTensor II and related software and documentation are distributed free of charge, please visit the URL http://grtensor.phy.queensu.ca/ and download the Maple version of GRTensor II. For more details about the package installation see the documentation link in the aforementioned URL. Three group projects will be offered during the programme, each consisting of two to three members: Project I: Schwarzschild metric, which describes the geometry of a spherically symmetric spacetime configuration. The general relativistic solution of an empty space is suitable for solar system applications. Project II: Kerr metric, which describes the geometry of an axially symmetric spacetime configuration. The general relativistic solution of an empty space is suitable for rotating black hole applications. Project III: Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker (FLRW) metric, which describes the geometry of a homogeneous and isotropic spacetime configuration. The general relativistic solution is suitable for cosmological applications.

  • RPC gas particle detectors (Supervisor: Yasser Assran):

    The resistive plate chamber (RPC) is a fast gaseous detector, which consists of two parallel plates; a positively charged anode and a negatively charged cathode, both made of a very high resistivity plastic material and separated by a gas volume. It is used in many high-energy physics experiments due to its simple design, construction, good time resolution, high efficiency, and low-cost production. This project aims to find the ideal operating conditions of the CMS RPCs using Garfield++ as simulation software. It represents the effect of temperature on various RPC parameters. The electron transport parameters like drift velocity, Townsend coefficient and Diffusion coefficient have been computed under different temperatures and gas mixtures using MAGBOLTZ. While the primary ionization number and energy loss have been studied using HEED. We used the nearly exact Boundary Element Method (neBEM) solver in the calculation of the weighting field and electric field. Finally, we applied Ramo’s theorem to calculate the induced signal.

  • Using Garfield for the Calculation of Transport Parameters (Supervisor: Yasser Assran):

    Garfield is a computer program for the detailed simulation of two and three- dimensional drift chambers. It has an interface to the Magboltz program for the computation of electron transport properties in arbitrary gas mixtures. Garfield also has an interface with the Heed program to simulate the ionization of gas molecules by particles traversing the chamber. Transport of particles, including diffusion, avalanches, and current induction is treated in three dimensions irrespective of the technique used to compute the fields. In this work, we use Garfield to calculate the transport parameters like drift velocity, longitudinal diffusion, transverse diffusion Townsend coefficient attachment coefficient, and Lorentz angle.

  • Probing the standard model gauge boson at LHC (Supervisor: Sherif Elgammal):

    The standard model (SM) of particle physics is a very successful model for describing the interactions between the elementary particles (leptons and quarks) and between the elementary particles and the gauge bosons (W+, W- and Z) in the 80's at LEP experiment at CERN, which appears as a consequence of the unification between the electromagnetic force and the nuclear weak force. In 2012, both CMS and ATLAS experiments at CERN discovered the SM Higgs boson, which was the last block in the SM. Higgs boson plays important role in our understanding of mass determination of the elementary particles (from Yukawa interaction), and how the gauge bosons acquire masses via Higgs mechanizem. These processes have been produced at the LHC via quark - antiquark Annihilation process in proton-proton collision at 13 TeV. Work plan: performing MC simulation for the production of the SM gauge bosons (W+, W- and Z) via their leptonic decays using Madgraph package. Pre-requested: knowledge of C++, Madgraph and ROOT analysis framework. Needed packages: [1] Madgraph version MG5_aMC_v3_5_0 from https://launchpad.net/mg5amcnlo , [2] Delphes version Delphes-3.5.0 from wget http://cp3.irmp.ucl.ac.be/downloads/Delphes-3.5.0.tar.gz. Please noticed that Madgraph+Pythia8+Delphes can be downloaded together if you follow the instructions given in https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/bin/view/CMSPublic/MadgraphTutorial.

Lectures and Talks

Ahmed Hammad [PPTX I , II , III , IV , V , VI], [Tutorials] Amr El-Zant [PPTX I], [PPTX II] Sayed Lashin [PDF I , II , III] Ahmed Moursy [PDF I & II] Waleed Abdallah [PDF]