Search course

Use the search function to find more information about the study programmes and courses available at Chalmers. When there is a course homepage, a house symbol is shown that leads to this page.

Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
FKA091 - Condensed matter physics
Syllabus adopted 2012-02-22 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: B

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0199 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   21 Dec 2012 pm V,  03 Apr 2013 am V,  20 Aug 2013 pm V

In programs

MPAPP APPLIED PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Bitr professor  Leonid Gorelik


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

The course builds upon the material covered in the solid state physics course given to engineering physics students during their third year (FFY011) and similar introductory courses. More explicitly this means that the discussion of the topics included in the course will assume knowledge regarding crystal structure, diffraction, lattice vibrations in periodic structures and related thermal properties, the free electron theory of metals, the diffraction models of energy band structure with application to metals and semiconductors, and basic knowledge regarding magnetic properties.


The course will introduce the students to phenomena, concepts and methods of central importance to condensed matter physics. The emphasis will be on experimental observations and theoretical models that have contributed to the progress of the field. The focus will be on quantum mechanics-based microscopic models that are employed to account for properties associated with electrons, lattice vibrations and their interactions, such as diffusion, conductivity, superconductivity and magnetism.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

* An overall goal is that students who successfully complete the course will have acquired an insight into and a perspective on the general status of condensed matter physics with respect to phenomena and theoretical models. More specialized knowledge will certainly be required in order to fully appreciate the discussion in current reviews and original papers in the vast field of condensed matter physics. However, the course will make a large body of such texts accessible to the students in some detail.
More specific goals are that students after having completed the course will be able to-
* -recapitulate theoretical models used to describe properties discussed in the course, while accounting for their limitations as well as for the experimental observations that have been used or could be used to evaluate the validity of the models.
* - apply theoretical models encountered in the course to account for specific experimental observations.
* - bring together elements of different theoretical models to account for specific experimental observations.
* - bring together elements of different theoretical models to predict the outcome of a real world or gedanken experiment


Electronic states in crystalline solids
-Quantum states in the periodic potentials, Bloch theorem, band structure.
Transport properties
- Semiclassical electron dynamics in electric and magnetic fields, Boltzmann equation, quantum Hall effect.
Interacting electrons
-Mean field approximation, Thomas-Fermi theory of screening, Landau's Fermi liquid theory.
-The Born-Oppenheimer approximation, electron-phonon interaction, temperature dependence of the resistance, effective electron-electron interaction.
Landau's theory of 2nd order phase transitions -broken symmetry, order parameter, correlation length.
- models based on local magnetic moments and and itinerant electrons, spin density waves.
- thermodynamics, phenomenological (London and Ginsburg-Landau) and microscopic (BCS) theories of conventional superconductors.


The course is based on a series of lectures and home problemscovering the topics listed above.


"Solid State Physics" by Neil W. Ashcroft and N. David Mermin (published in 1976; ISBN-13: 9780030839931). Nearly all the course material will be found in this book.
Alternative textbook is Feng Duan and Jin Guojin, Introduction to condensed matter, vol 1, World Scientific (2005), ISBN981-238-711-0, 981-256-070-X (pbk)
Another alternative textbook is Michael P. Marder: Condensed Matter Physics (corrected printing), Wiley Interscience (2000), ISBN: 0-471-17779-2
Supplementary material distributed during the course.


Home problems and a written examination at the end of the course.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.