Physics 520

Condensed Matter Physics (Winter 2019)

Instructor: Kai Sun

Phone: 734-764-0730
Office: 2245 Randall
Homepage: Kai Sun's Homepage

Time and Place:

Time: 1:00-2:30pm Tuesday and Thursday
Place: 335 West Hall
Office Hour: Wednesday 3:00-4:00pm (2245 Randall).

Announcement: (Canvas)

Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to condensed matter physics, including transport, lattice structures, elastic properties, band structure theory, superconductivity, magnetism, disorder effects, etc. By the end of the semester, I expect that students will have a firm understanding of the basic concepts and phenomena in solid state physics.

In most other courses we have taken before, the main task is to learn some new physics laws and principles. In this course, we will utilize various physics laws (learned in this course or previous courses) to understand/explain the interesting phenomena in various solid state materials, in preparation for future scientific research on solid states physics and material sciences.


Lecture notes: will be posted online after each lecture

Textbook: Ashcroft and Mermin, Solid State Physics

Course outline and lecture notes:

Part I: Electrons in metals

Chapter 1: Basic ideas (notes: 1/10/2019)

Chapter 2: Drude theory(notes: 1/15/2019,1/17/2019,1/22/2019,1/24/2019)

Chapter 3: Sommerfeld theory (notes: 1/29/2019,2/5/2019,2/7/2019)

Part II: What are ions doing in a solid?

Chapter 4: Crystal Lattices (2/12/2019,2/14/2019)

Interactive demonstrations: translations

Interactive demonstrations: honeycome lattices

Chapter 5: Symmetries, point group in a nutshell (2/14/2019,2/19/2019)

Extral reading: Representations (notes):

Chapter 6: Difffraction (lecture note)

Chapter 7: Crystal Viberations (notes: 2/26/2019, 3/12/2019)

Interactive demonstrations: Longitudinal modes

Interactive demonstrations: Transverse modes

Interactive demonstrations: Both types of modes in one figure

Chapter 8: Elasticity (3/12/2019, 3/14/2019)

Chapter 9: Thermal Properties of Phonons (3/14/2019,3/19/2019,3/21/2019)

Part III: What are electrons doing in a solid

Chapter 10: Energy Bands (3/26/2019,3/28/2019,4/2/2019)

Why are there two types of solids: conductors and insulators? This is a quantum phenomenon.

Are there other states beyond conductors and insulators? Superconductors and topological insulators.

Chapter 11: Metals (4/2/2019, 4/4/2019)

1. Interactive figures: the Brillouin zone of a square lattice
2. Interactive figures: the Brillouin zone of a hexagonal lattice

Chapter 12a: Insulators (4/9/2019,4/11/2019)

Chapter 12b: Topological insulators (4/11/2019,4/16/2019)

Reading materials (not required)

Chapter 13: Superconductors:

Reading materials (not required)

Chapter 14: High temperature superconductors

Part IV: What are the spins doing in a solid?

Part V: Modern condensed matter physics (Chapter 12b and 14)

Part VI: What are the effect of disorders (Chapter 12a)?

Homeworks (bi-weekly):

Course work and grading:

Your class grade will be based on problem sets (40%), final presentation (20%), mid-term (20%) and final (20%).