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 2017-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
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   Contact examiner

In programs

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


Docent  Ermin Malic

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

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, phonons, and photons as well as their interactions, such as diffusion, conductivity, superconductivity, relaxation dynamics, optics, and magnetism.

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

  • Recognize the main concepts of condensed matter physics including the introduction
    of quasi-particles (such as excitons and phonons) and approximations
    (such as Born-Oppenheimer and Hartree-Fock)

  • Define the many-particle Hamilton operator in the formalism of second

  • Calculate the electronic band structure of nanomaterials

  • Realize the potential of density matrix and density functional theory

  • Explain semiconductor Bloch and Boltzmann scattering equation

  • Be able to describe the optical finger print of nanomaterials

  • Recognize the main steps in the carrier relaxation dynamics in nanomaterials
    including carrier-carrier and carrier-phonon scattering channels

  • Be able to explain the many-particle mechanism behind the occurrence of


  1. Introduction in main concepts of condensed matter physics
    (quasi-particles, Born-Oppenheimer approximation
  1. Electronic properties of solids (Bloch theorem, electronic band
    structure, density of states)

  2. Electron-electron interaction (second quantization, Jellium and
    Hubbard models, Hartree-Fock approximation, screening, plasmons,

  3. Lattice properties of solids (optical and acoustic phonons, Einstein
    and Debye model)

  4. Electron-phonon interaction (Froehlich coupling, polarons,

  5. Optical properties of solids (electron-light interaction, absorption

  6. Density matrix theory (statistic operator, semiconductor Bloch
    equations, Boltzmann scattering equation)

  7. Density functional theory (Hohenberg-Kohn theorem, Kohn-Sham


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


  • Fundamentals of many-body physics by Wolfgang Nolting (Springer Verlag, 2009)
  • Quantum theory of the optical and electronic properties of semiconductors
    by Hartmut Haug and Stephan W. Koch (World Scientific Publishing, 2009)
  • Quantum Optics by Marlan Scully (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • Semiconductor Quantum Optics by Mackillo Kira and Stephan W. Koch (Cambridge
    University Press, 2012)
  • Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Ultrafast Optics and Relaxation Dynamics by
    Ermin Malic and Andreas Knorr (Wiley-VCH, 2013)

    Supplementary material will be distributed during the course


Home problems and an oral exam at the end of the course.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.