Physics 880.06: Condensed Matter Physics (Winter, 2002-2003)

[ Introduction and General Format | Syllabus ]
[Office Hours; Grader]
[ Problem Sets and Term Project| Supplemental Notes]

Introduction and General Format

Physics 880.06 is the second quarter of a three quarter sequence on Condensed Matter Physics. It is aimed at students who plan to do experiment as well as those interested in theory. The instructor will be David Stroud (office Smith 4034, phone 292-8140, email The main text will continue to be Ashcroft and Mermin, ``Solid State Physics'' (Saunders, 1976). However, the course will often depart from this text. The third quarter will devoted to a single topic, namely superconductivity, and will use a different text.

Some other recommended references for winter quarter include: Michael P. Marder ``Condensed Matter Physics,'' (Corrected Printing, Wiley Interscience, 2000); P. M. Chaikin and T. C. Lubensky, ``Principles of Condensed Matter Physics''; W. A. Harrison, ``Solid State Theory''; and J. M. Ziman, ``Principles of the Theory of Solids.'' Others will be announced soon.

Suggested background includes quantum mechanics and electricity and magnetism at the undergraduate level. Recommended but not required: some background in undergrad statistical physics. The first quarter of this sequence or something equivalent would be helpful but not necessary.

I will provide a short set of review notes describing a few central results (Bloch's theorem, summary of band theory and lattice vibrations, non-interacting electron gas). If you have questions about the needed background, please get in touch with me.

The course will meet MWF from 10:30 to 11:18 in Smith 1186

Grading will be based on homework (about 50%), and a short term project (about 50%). I will discard your grade on the lowest homework set. Grades will be distributed according to the usual scale for 880xx courses. The term project may be a talk, a paper, or a computer project. Under some conditions, it may be a team project. Suggested topics will be announced later. The topic should be approved in advance by the instructor.


The winter quarter will include various topics in quantum condensed matter physics, such as the following:

Interacting electrons and formalism of second quantization; modern models and theories of magnetism, (including paramagnetism, diamagnetism, Landau levels, quantum Hall effect, models of ferro- and antiferromagnetism);; transport and optical properties, principles of mesoscopic and nanoscopic materials; the physics of disordered solids, extended defects; and quantum computation using condensed matter.

Office Hours, Grader

My office hours will be W and F from 11:30 to 12:30, and by appointment. The grader is Mr. Wissam Al-Saidi (email

Problem Sets and Term Project

Problem Set 1

Problem Set 2

Problem Set 3

Problem Set 4

Problem Set 5

Problem Set 6

Information about Term Project

Supplemental Notes

Notes on second quantization for Fermions

Review of basic concepts in condensed matter