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Syllabus for

Academic year
FKA091 - Condensed matter physics
Kondenserade materiens fysik
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPHS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Application code: 85135
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0199 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs

MPPHS PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPNAT NANOTECHNOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Ermin Malic

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic knowledge regarding crystal structure, lattice vibrations in periodic structures and corresponding thermic properties. This knowledge may have been obtained through Solid state physics (FFY012) or correspondingly.


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 significantly 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 that are important for optics, electron dynamics, and diffusion.

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,
    superconductivity, electron transport)

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

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

  7. Guest lectures on density functional theory and topological insulators


The course is based on a series of lectures and obligatory 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

Examination including compulsory elements

Obligatory home problems and an oral exam at the end of the course. One needs to reach 60% in home problems to be eligible for the oral exam.

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.