Course Coordinator: 
Yejun Feng
Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed matter physics originates from solid state physics in 1950’s and evolves into a subject which focuses on collective behavior, symmetry, and topological states. Over the past century, this sub-field of physics has grown with many various ramifications that any offered perspective would always be partial and biased. Nevertheless, I would like to limit this class to the introduction level, and give a broad description of the field. For a few topics, I will try to demonstrate how to evolve from fundamental concepts to perspectives of advanced topics.  

This is a class designed for beginner students who would pursue a Ph.D. in fields related to physics, materials science, device engineering, and chemistry. The course focuses on three major concepts of lattice, electrons, and spins, and surveys the topics generated by interactions between them. During the weekly four-hour lecture time, I will try to split the time with half on theory and half on experimental demonstration of those theoretical concepts.
Course Content: 

(Separated into two-hour lecture each)

  1. Crystals and Symmetry
  2. Phonons
  3. Inelastic probes
  4. Order and disorder
  5. Phase transitions and Landau’s theory
  6. Band structure
  7. Fermi surface probes
  8. Hatree-Fock
  9. Electronic excitations in metals
  10. Electrical transport and galvanomagnetic phenomena
  11. Quantum Hall and fractional quantum Hall
  12. Superconductivity: BCS
  13. Superconductivity: Quasi-particle gap
  14. Superconductivity: GL
  15. Josephson tunnelling
  16. Josephson devices
  17. Parity sensitive probes.
  18. Odd parity superconductivity
  19. Magnetic interactions
  20. Metal-insulator transition
  21. WKB and spin-tunneling
  22. Itinerant magnetism
  23. Spin excitations, spin waves, and magnons
  24. Spin glass, spin ice, and spin liquids
  25. Quantum phase transitions
  26. Experimental study of dynamical exponent
Course Type: 
Homework (4-5) 70%, final presentation, 30%.
Text Book: 
Ashcroft & Mermin, Solid State Physics (1976).
M. Tinkham, Introduction to Superconductivity (1996).
Reference Book: 
Chaikin & Lubensky, Principles of Condensed Matter Physics (1995).
D. Pines, Elementary Excitations in Solids (1963).
L. P. Levy, Magnetism and Superconductivity (1997). - no longer available
S.K. Ma, Modern Theory of Critical Phenomena (1976).
Prior Knowledge: 

Students are suggested to have basic (undergraduate) understanding of quantum mechanics and statistics.