Physics 880.06: Condensed Matter Physics (Spring, 2011)

[ Introduction and General Format | Syllabus ]
[Office Hours; Grader]
[ Problem Sets |Notes| Random Information]

Introduction and General Format

Physics 880.06 is the third quarter of a projected three quarter sequence on Condensed Matter Physics. It will be devoted entirely to a single topic: superconductivity. The first two quarters are NOT required in order to take this course.

The main text for the spring quarter will be Michael Tinkham, ``Introduction to Superconductivity, 2nd Edition'' (Dover Publications, Mineola, NY, 2004). Some supplementary material may be drawn from other texts, and research publications, which I will announce later. I will also distribute my own notes.

Suggested background includes quantum mechanics and electricity and magnetism at the undergraduate level. Some background in undergraduate statistical physics would also be useful, and will be developed as needed. The course should be accessible to some first year grad students. If you have questions about the needed background, please talk to me.

We will meet Tu and Th from 1:00 to 2:18 in Baker Systems 0184, The instructor is David Stroud (email; telephone 292-8140; office PRB 2048).

Grading will be based on homework only. You can turn your homework in class, into the grader's mailbox (first choice), into my mailbox, to me directly in my office or class, or you can slide it under my office door until midnight of the due date. Unless otherwise indicated, each problem will be worth 10 pts. If you have questions about the grading, please discuss them with the grader, Raju Nandalya (email If you still have questions, feel free to get in touch with me.


For the spring quarter, I plan to cover the following (I may not manage to cover it all and the order may change):

1. Historical Overview

2. Introduction to Electrodynamics of Superconductors p> 3. The BCS Theory

4. Ginzburg-Landau Theory

5. Magnetic Properties of Type II Superconductors

6. The Josephson Effect

7. Fluctuation Phenomena

8. The High-Temperature Superconductors (Mostly Cuprate Superconductors)

9. Superconducting Qubits.

Office Hours, Grader

My office hours will be Tu and Th from 2:30 to 3:30, or by appointment. You are also welcome to drop by and I will usually be happy to talk to you, if I am not talking to someone else.

The grader is Raju Nandalya. He can be reached via email at His office is PRB 2180 and his office phone is 292-3705.

Problem Sets

oProblem Set 1

oSolutions to PS1.

oSupplement to PS1 solutions.

oProblem Set 2

oSolutions to PS2.

oProblem Set 3

oSolutions to PS3.

oProblem Set 4

oSolutions to PS4.

oProblem Set 5

oSolutions to PS5.

oProblem Set 6

oSolutions to PS6.

oProblem Set 7

oSolutions to PS7.


oA brief review of useful concepts from the first quarter of Physics 880.06.

o Second quantization for fermions.

oTime-dependent perturbation theory and Fermi Golden Rule.

oFirst set of lecture notes (historical introduction, basic properties of superconductors, London equations, thermodynamics of critical field).

oSecond set of lecture notes (coherence length, two-fluid model, Schrodinger equation for Cooper pairs and its solution).

oThird set of lecture notes (BCS ground state wave function and energy).

oFourth set of lecture notes (self-consistent field approach; Bogoliubov-Valatin transformation; superconducting state at finite temperatures and superconducting-normal transition).

oFifth set of lecture notes (thermodynamics of BCS superconducting state and S-N transition; S/N, N/N, and S/S tunneling).

oSixth set of lecture notes (application of BCS theory to perturbations with Type I and Type II coherence factors; ultrasound attenuation, nuclear spin relaxation, infrared absorption; temperature-dependent penetration depth from BCS theory).

oSeventh set of lecture notes (flux quantization; introduction to Ginzburg-Landau theory).

oEighth set of lecture notes (more on Ginzburg-Landau theory; various applications).

oNinth set of lecture notes (Abrikosov vortex lattice; structure of an isolated vortex; large-kappa approximation).

oTenth set of lecture notes (vortex-vortex interaction, flux flow, flux pinning, flux creep, proximity effect).

oEleventh set of lecture notes (Josephson effect I: Josephson equations, basic properties, gauge-invariant phase difference).

oTwelfth set of lecture notes (Joesphson effect II: dynamics of Josephson junctions; RCSJ model; Shapiro steps; superconducting quantum interference devices).

oThirteenth set of lecture notes (Josephson effect III: long Josephson junctions; sine-Gordon solitons; quantum effects in small Josephson junctions).

oFourteenth set of lecture notes (Josephson effect IV: quantum tunneling in small Josephson junctions via WKB approximation; brief discussion of thermal effects in Josephson junctions; Josephson junction arrays and the Kosterlitz-Thouless-Berezinskii transition).

oFifteenth set of lecture notes (Introduction to high-Tc superconductors: basic properties; anisotropic Ginzburg-Landau theory; Lawrence-Doniach model).

Random Information

o Heike Kamerlingh Onnes

oFritz London

oJohn Bardeen

o Leon Cooper

o J. Robert Schrieffer

o J. G. Bednorz

o K. Alex Muller

oVitaly Ginzburg

oLev Landau

oBrian D. Josephson

oLeo Esaki

oIvar Giaever