Michael C. Ogilvie

​Professor of Physics
PhD, Brown University
MSc, Brown University
BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
research interests:
  • Particle Physics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Quantum Chromodynamics
  • Lattice Gauge Theory
    View All People

    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • MSC 1105-109-03
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
    image of book cover

    ​Professor Ogilvie's research interests include particle physics and quantum field theory, extreme QCD, lattice gauge theory, phase transitions, and critical phenomena.

    One of the great unifying themes in modern physics is the investigation of different phases of matter. Just as water occurs in solid, liquid and gaseous forms, theories of fundamental particles can manifest in different phases. In the universe as we know it today, the electromagnetic and gravitational forces are associated with a Coulomb phase, where massless photons and gravitons give rise to long-range forces. The weak force is associated with the Higgs phase, which has a close relation to superconductivity. The strong force confines quarks and gluons, yet another phase of fundamental matter. Phase transitions from one phase of fundamental matter to another are crucial in modern particle physics and astrophysics.

    Ogilvie’s work centers around the phase structure of QCD, the modern theory of the strong interactions between quarks. Using a combination of theoretical tools and computer simulation methods, the goal of his research is to determine the phase structure of QCD under extreme conditions, such as high temperature or high density.

    recent courses

    Relativistic Quantum Field Theory (Physics 547)

    An introduction to the "standard model" of elementary particle physics. The non-Abelian SU() X SU(2) X U (1) gauge theory and its relation to phenomenology and experiments.

      Statistical Mechanics (Physics 529)

      Gibbs' formalism of statistical mechanics and applications to thermodynamics. Quantum statistical mechanics and degenerate matter. General theory of equilibrium including phase transitions and critical phenomena. Interacting particles including non-ideal gases, ferromagnetism, and superconductivity. Transport theory, irreversible processes.

        Relativistic Field Theory (Physics 552)

        Continuation of Physics 551. Path integral quantization of spin 1/2 and spin 1 fields. Quantum electrodynamics. Ward identities and renormalization. Computation of the electron anomalous magnetic moment and the Lamb shift. Non-Abelian gauge theories and their quantization. Quantum chromodynamics and asymptotic freedom. Spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Standard Model.

          Relativistic Quantum Mechanics (Physics 551)

          Introduction to Quantum Field Theory using simple 1-dimensional and/or scalar field examples. Canonical quantization and path integrals; Feynman diagrams; Lorentz group; discrete symmetries; LSZ theorem. Introduction to regularization and renormalization.

            Honors and Awards

            1975 University Fellow, Brown University

            1987 Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, US Department of Energy


            Professional History

            1997- Professor, Washington University

            1992-1997 Associate Professor, Washington University

            1986-1992 Assistant Professor, Washington University

            1984-1986 Senior Research Associate, Washington University

            1982-1983 Research Associate, Brookhaven National Laboratory

            1980-1982 Research Associate, University of Maryland

            Multidisciplinary Approach to Quantum Field Theory : An Introduction

            Multidisciplinary Approach to Quantum Field Theory : An Introduction

            This book is a multidisciplinary introduction to quantum field theory. The first volume introduces wide ranging topics from topics including free (noninteracting) fields, field quantization, interacting fields, Feynman diagrams, scattering, cross sections and decay rates; renormalization; symmetry, symmetry breaking and Goldstone bosons.