What is Condensed matter physics: Definition and 128 Discussions

Condensed matter physics is the field of physics that deals with the macroscopic and microscopic physical properties of matter, especially the solid and liquid phases which arise from electromagnetic forces between atoms. More generally, the subject deals with "condensed" phases of matter: systems of many constituents with strong interactions between them. More exotic condensed phases include the superconducting phase exhibited by certain materials at low temperature, the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic phases of spins on crystal lattices of atoms, and the Bose–Einstein condensate found in ultracold atomic systems. Condensed matter physicists seek to understand the behavior of these phases by experiments to measure various material properties, and by applying the physical laws of quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, and other theories to develop mathematical models.
The diversity of systems and phenomena available for study makes condensed matter physics the most active field of contemporary physics: one third of all American physicists self-identify as condensed matter physicists, and the Division of Condensed Matter Physics is the largest division at the American Physical Society. The field overlaps with chemistry, materials science, engineering and nanotechnology, and relates closely to atomic physics and biophysics. The theoretical physics of condensed matter shares important concepts and methods with that of particle physics and nuclear physics.A variety of topics in physics such as crystallography, metallurgy, elasticity, magnetism, etc., were treated as distinct areas until the 1940s, when they were grouped together as solid state physics. Around the 1960s, the study of physical properties of liquids was added to this list, forming the basis for the more comprehensive specialty of condensed matter physics. The Bell Telephone Laboratories was one of the first institutes to conduct a research program in condensed matter physics.

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  1. StanislavD

    A Pairing of electrons in superconductors

    Crystals may contain electronic real-space-eigenstates as ground states, which are spatially much larger than one unit cell, such as impurity states, standing waves at Brillouin zone edges, states of Anderson localization, etc. Every eigenstate is usually occupied by two conduction electrons...
  2. P

    Studying Should I study relativistic QFT to get non-relativistic QFT?

    First time in PF, I am sorry if I did not choose the right category. I have been doing theory in condensed matter (mostly numerics) as a PhD but I never got to learn proper quantum field theory (QFT). Aside from a few introductory courses at university, I never learned what is a many-body...
  3. Aethermimicus

    A The relation between ferromagnets, Phi4 and non-linear sigma model

    I'm struggling to understand the relation between phi4 theory,non-linear sigma model and ferromagnets. I've read this in a paper(Phys.Rev.B14(1976)3110):'It is possible to describe the long-distance behavior of the Heisenberg ferromagnets in two different ways:the phi4 theory which corresponds...
  4. kori2003

    Physics Lost undergrad looking for advice on career path and grad school

    Hello, First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who takes their time to read through my post and make a response, I really appreciate your help that is given for free. Background. I’m a Physics student in his last year, my expected graduation date is June 2024. I study at one of the best...
  5. StanislavD

    A Decay of supercurrents connected to non-superconducting zones?

    This question is more complicated than it seems, most physicists cannot answer it unambiguously and there is no experiments to the issue. Imagine, a persistent supercurrent flows in a SC aluminum ring. Then we connect the SC aluminum ring (without solder) to an aluminum wire, the second end of...
  6. lsdragon

    What are the latest topics in condensed matter physics?

    I am a Ph D student in condensed matter physics. I am coming here to discuss some interesting physical problems with others.
  7. hudsonj

    Intro Physics Pop-sci books about condensed matter physics or superconductivity?

    I was wondering if anyone knows of any technical pop-sci books about condensed matter physics and/or superconductivity that are at the technical level of something like the "A Very Short Introduction" series or the Feynman lectures. That is, something that goes sufficiently into depth into the...
  8. July Zou

    What is the origin of the factor 3?

    We have the three-phonon interactions Hamiltonian $$H_{\mathrm{ph}-\mathrm{ph}}=\sum_{i j k} M_{i j k}\left(b_{-i}^{\dagger}+b_i\right)\left(b_{-j}^{\dagger}+b_j\right)\left(b_{-k}^{\dagger}+b_k\right).$$ We will not need the explicit expression for the $$M_{ijk}$$ here, but only note that it is...
  9. sol47739

    I Can Superconductors Reach Relativistic Speeds and Emit Synchrotron Photons?

    How are currents injected into a superconductor? And can you regulate the velocity of the current afterwards? Since the magnetic field can’t penetrate? What would happen if you tried to make the Cooper pairs approach relativistic speeds? Would the superconductor stop being in its...
  10. cemtu

    Solid State Good Condensed Matter Physics Books and Semiconductor Physics Books

    Can you please recommend me some condensed matter physics study books and semi-conductor physics study books? Much Appreciated!
  11. P

    Undergraduate modern physics and condensed matter physics courses

    Do they really teach and help anything? I am taking them for my nanoengineering undergraduate program. The textbooks are solid state physics by j r hook and concepts of modern physics by mcgraw hill and r b singh introduction to modern physics and introduction to quantum mechanics by david j...
  12. Alpha Roy

    A Mapping High Symmetry Points from Primitive to Conventional Cell

    We usually plot electronic bands with the help of high symmetry points of the irreducible zone of primitive cell of particular material. But if we want to plot bands with conventional cell, we have to map the high symmetry points from primitive cell to conventional cell. so how can we map the...
  13. D

    Solid State Texts on Topological Effects/Phases in Materials

    I am looking to learn about these topological effects or phases in solids. More specifically, I'm trying to find a set of lecture notes or a textbook or some other text that do not shy away from discussing homotopy classes and the application algebraic topology to describe these materials. I...
  14. CyclicAvatar

    PhD in condensed matter theory or theoretical cosmology

    Hi all, I just graduated from my master's program in theoretical physics. I did 60% of the coursework in high energy physics and rest in condensed matter theory plus a few experimental physics courses. I did my master's thesis in what can be called as theoretical cosmology, studying particle...
  15. orochi

    Learning about condensed matter physics as a particle physicist

    I am on my first year of my master's degree in nuclear and particle physics, and right now i am ending my first semester, where i decided to take a course in physics of semiconductors. As i end this semester i start to wonder if there was any use in learning about this subject, as it seems like...
  16. raz

    A Bloch momentum-space wave functions

    Hello, I wonder if it is possible to write Bloch wave functions in momentum space. To be more specific, it would calculate something like (using Sakurai's notation): $$ \phi(\vec k) = \langle \vec k | \alpha \rangle$$ Moving forward in a few steps: Expanding: $$ \phi(\vec k) = \int d^3\vec r...
  17. ubergewehr273

    I Why Is the Anomalous Hall Coefficient Temperature Dependent?

    Hi! Reading through this paper, the Hall resistivity in ferromagnetic materials is given by $$\rho_H = R_0 B + 4 \pi R_s M$$ It is mentioned that ##R_s## (anomalous Hall coefficient) is significantly larger than ##R_0## (ordinary Hall coefficient) and has a strong dependence on temperature...
  18. ubergewehr273

    I How Does Increasing Length Affect Spin Hall Voltage in Materials?

    Hi! I'm trying to understand the dependence of spin hall voltage on various parameters of the material. I have been going through this paper, and it is mentioned that $$V_{SH} = 2 \pi R_s L j_x n \mu_B$$ In the equation, only ##L## and ##j_x## seem to be the variables. Does increasing ##L##...
  19. B

    How to Estimate the Fermi Energy for Potassium Metal?

    I have completed part a, from which I got the expression: Cv = 3KTn/(T_f) For part b, the first term is the electron contribution and the second term is the phonon contribution. I'm stuck on how to estimate the fermi energy for the potassium metal. I'm thinking I only need to consider the...
  20. M

    Potential solution:Uses of Transparent Semiconductors: FTO and ITO explained

    Summary:: What is the advantage of transparent semiconductors such as Fluorine doped tin oxide over main semiconductors? What is the advantage of transparent semiconductors such as Fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) and Indium tin oxide (ITO) over main semiconductors? Please explain the uses of...
  21. A

    A The exciton dynamics in the FMO complex

    I want to study the coherence transfer of the excitation in the FMO complex, so I have to solve the Lindblad master equation. Can I treat my system as a two level system?
  22. IreneFerri

    New Ph.D candidate in Statistical Physics on networks, Hello

    My name is Irene and I've just started my PhD. at the University of Barcelona (October, 2020). I have a Physics degree and a Master in Computational Modelling. I work in a research group named ClabB (complexity lab Barcelona) where I develop a large scale opinion model using Monte-Carlo...
  23. teame Yitbarek

    Background: computational condensed matter physics

    I have my MSc in 'Computational condensed matter physics'. I used VASP package for simulation during my MSc. and i am also well experienced in FORTRAN programming language. Can anyone give me short note about 'PhD in computational physics'? so that can continue my PhD in 'Computational Physics'.
  24. A

    Hello Reality Anyone familiar with the Davisson-Germer Experiment?

    Greetings, I'm happy to find such an enthusiastic community with an encyclopedic knowledge and mathematical rigor. I'm a Biomedical Engineering Researcher that's had to breach into the world of condensed matter physics to better understand the physical principles of the piezoelectric crystal...
  25. patric44

    Some questions about reciprocal lattice vectors

    hi guys our solid state physics professor introduced to us this new concept of reciprocal lattice , and its vectors in k space ( i am still an undergrad) i find these concepts some how hard to visualize , i mean i don't really understand the k vector of the wave it elf and what it represents...
  26. C

    A What are the frontiers and challenges in condensed matter physics?

    In your opinion, what are the main challenges for future condensed matter physics? What type of material systems are more desirable to discover? Which quantum properties are the most interesting to demonstrate for future devices working at room temperature and ambient pressure (besides...
  27. M

    Programs Doing a PhD in both computational and experimental condensed matter physics?

    I am torn between computational and experimental condensed matter physics for my PhD. My focus is on low dimensional systems (e.g. electron correlation/transport, broken symmetry at the boundaries). I'm currently in the process of applying for graduate schools, and so far, I've chosen all my...
  28. H

    A What is the functional representation of D(E) for a given energy interval?

    Data = np.array([-1.61032636, -1.23577245, -0.50587484, -0.28348457, -0.18748945, 0.4537447, 1.2338455, 2.13535718]) print("Data is: ", Data) print(Data.shape) n,bins,patches = plt.hist(Data,bins=4) print("n: ",n) print("bins: ",bins) plt.savefig("./DOS")
  29. L

    A Quantum statistical canonical formalism to find ground state at T

    For my own understanding, I am trying to computationally solve a simple spinless fermionic Hamiltonian in Quantum Canonical Ensemble formalism . The Hamiltonian is written in the second quantization as $$H = \sum_{i=1}^L c_{i+1}^\dagger c_i + h.c.$$ In the canonical formalism, the density...
  30. L

    Can we study an odd number sized lattice model at half filling?

    So one can numerically study (I am interested in exact diagonalization) any 1D lattice model with ##L## sites and ##N## number of particles. At half filling, ##L/N = 2##. My question to a professor was that can we study a system of size ##L = 31## at half filling? He replied yes, there is a way...
  31. L

    A What is best way to start learning DMRG for Fermions?

    I want to learn the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) method in traditional formalism (not MPS). While there are many good introductory level articles available for bosonic (and spin) systems, I have not encountered any introductory level article which deals with fermionic systems i.e...
  32. L

    A How to numerically diagonalize a Hamiltonian in a subspace?

    I want to exactly diagonalize the following Hamiltonian for ##10## number of sites and ##5## number of spinless fermions $$H = -t\sum_i^{L-1} \big[c_i^\dagger c_{i+1} - c_i c_{i+1}^\dagger\big] + V\sum_i^{L-1} n_i n_{i+1}$$ here ##L## is total number of sites, creation (##c^\dagger##) and...
  33. L

    I What is the relation between chemical potential and the number of particles?

    Chemical potential is defined as the change in energy due to change in the number of particles in a system. Let we have a system which is defined by the following Hamiltonian: $$H = -t \sum_i^L c_i^\dagger c_{i+1} + V\sum_i^L n_i n_{i+1} -\mu \sum_i^L n_i$$ where ##c^\dagger (c)## are creation...
  34. L

    A How to choose the number of particles per site in Fermionic DMRG?

    I am doing DMRG (in traditional formalism, not MPS) for Hubbard model H = -t ∑i ∑σci,σ ci+1,σ + U∑ini,σni,σ- In every iteration we add two sites to the system, but how do we set that how many particles are allowed in the system?
  35. li dan

    Can an aircraft using a geomagnetic field generate lift?

    As shown in the figure, the aircraft includes a geomagnetic field convergence layer, which is a superconductor material. The geomagnetic field convergence layer repels the direction of changing the geomagnetic field, so that the geomagnetic field passes between the upper and lower converging...
  36. Z

    "The theoritical minimum" modern equivalent for solid state?

    Hi, for those who don't know, Landau (Lev Davidovitch Landau) had a famous exam called "The theoretical minimum". That exam had to be passed by any future grad-student of his. That test was extremely extensive and difficult, and the student was supposed to be knowledgeable about many fields of...
  37. pallab

    Advanced condensed matter physics book

    what are the good books on advanced condensed matter physics with detail notation explained?
  38. Joaco

    Studying Condensed Matter Physics Grade vs Materials Science?

    Hi, I'm an undergrad materials engineering student. I am thinking of studying all the way to a PhD as I'm interested on working in research. Right now I work with Semiconductors and I like the field a lot. However, considering what I'm studying, I want to know if it's a good Idea to look for a...
  39. W

    I Empty Lattice approximation/Nearly-free electron model

    Hi all, I am having trouble understanding the some ideas presented in some notes I've been reading, help is greatly appreciated! I've uploaded screenshots of the material I'm referring to below, the last two images are what I'm mainly referencing, and the first few are to provide context...
  40. M

    I Fermi Energy Calculations About Non Parabolic Dispersions

    Greetings! It is easy to understand that for a free electron, we can easily define the energy state density, and by doing the integration of the State density* Fermi-Dirac distribution we will be able to figure out the chemical potential at zero kelvin, which is the Fermi-Energy. Hence, we can...
  41. PrinceWalnut

    Admissions PhD Applications with a low GPA (due to depression in my junior year)

    Hi all, It's a few short months before grad school applications are due, and I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. Prior to my junior year, I knew what I wanted to do is physics research for my career, and I'm particularly interested in biological and condensed matter physics. My skills are more...
  42. thariya

    I The sign of coupling Hamiltonian in CQED

    Hi all, I've always regarded the coupling Hamiltonian for a bosonic cavity mode coupled to a two-level fermionic gain medium chromophore to be of the form, $$H_{coupling}=\hbar g(\sigma_{10}+\sigma_{01})(b+b^{\dagger})$$, where ##b## and ##b^{\dagger}## and annihilation and creation operators...
  43. GiovanniNunziante

    A Derivation of the Heisenberg equation for electron density

    I'm studying plasmons from "Haken-Quantum Field Theory of Solids", and i need some help in the calculation of the equation of motion of eletrons' density \begin{equation} \hat{\rho}_{\overrightarrow{q}} = \frac{1}{\sqrt{V}} \sum_{\overrightarrow{k}}...
  44. Hamza Elkotfi

    A What resources are available for using DFT to study 1D materials in physics?

    hello dear physicists I will work in my thesis on 1D materials using DFT as a numerical method to find the properietes of these 1D materials I would be very happy if someone can help me with references (books, links, articles, vedios ...) that could help me to advance in my work Thank you
  45. A

    A Why is ##\omega_c \tau >>1## for several revolutions?

    Hey, I read about charge carriers in semiconductors in a magnetic field. They write that for several revolutions ##\omega_c \tau >>1## holds. But I think for one revolution it is ##\omega_c \tau = 2 \pi##. (##\tau## is the scattering time) Why they do not write ##\omega_c \tau >> 2 \pi##...
  46. J

    A Time reversal symmetry and Bloch states

    Hello! The time reversal operator, ##\hat{\Theta}## transforms a Bloch state as follows: ##\hat{\Theta} \psi_{nk}=\psi^*_{nk}##. How does one proceed to prove the condition that ##\psi_{nk}## and ##\psi^*_{nk}## must satisfy in order for our system to be time reversal invariant? Thanks in advance!
  47. J

    A How does parity transformation affect Bloch states?

    Hello! I want to know how does a parity transformation affect Bloch states! I always knew that parity takes the position vector to minus itself (in odd number of dimensions), but I have read that it also takes the Bloch wave vector to minus itself but I have not found a satisfactory proof of...
  48. AD MCFC

    A The Future of "Soft Matter Physics"

    Hi all, I am trying to learn more about this field. Whether you work or have worked in this area or not, I would like to know where Soft Matter is going in terms of theory and applications. Thanks, A.D. *I apologize in advance if there are already many threads specifically addressing this...
  49. G

    Maximum Wavelength and Scattering Angle for Triangular Lattice

    Homework Statement A triangular lattice of lattice spacing ##a=2 ## angstroms is irradiated with x-rays at time zero of wavelength 20 angstroms at an incident angle of ##\alpha =135##. 1) What is the maximum wavelength of the incident x-rays? 2) What is the scattering angle ##\Omega## for...