"The theoritical minimum" modern equivalent for solid state?

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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 physics. However, such an exam would probably not work today where fields are very specialized.

Now, I want to study condensed matter/solid state theory in grad school. What would be the topics of "The condensed matter minimum" if it ever came to be? (Including coding and data analysis skills.)
 

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  • #2
ZapperZ
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Everything covered in Kittel or Ashcroft/Mermin.

Zz.
 
  • #3
WHT
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When condensed mattter physics became king

Interesting article in this months Physics Today describing the scope of condensed matter and how it grew out of solid state
 
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ZapperZ
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When condensed mattter physics became king

Interesting article in this months Physics Today describing the scope of condensed matter and how it grew out of solid state

When I first saw the article in the hard copy version, I remember telling myself that I wish every bright-eyed and bush-tailed high school student and beginning college physics student would read this. And I also wish that people outside of physics who think physics is only the LHC and the Higgs and all those exotic physics would also read this before they start making broad categorization of the field of physics as a whole. Using the subfield of high energy physics, for example, to categorize the field of physics is like using just the city of Los Angeles to describe the entire United States.

Thanks for finding the online version.

Zz.
 
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  • #6
WHT
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Using the subfield of high energy physics, for example, to categorize the field of physics is like using just the city of Los Angeles to describe the entire United States.

Thanks for finding the online version.

Zz.

Certainly! The sub disciplines of solid state and condensed matter were driven by the rapidly growing use of applied physics, especially in the semiconductor industry. They opened it up again to include condensed matter as liquids and fluid dynamics also became part of applied physics in industry.

What I find interesting is that condensed matter physics specialists are now applying some novel topological ideas to climate science.
 
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ZapperZ
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What I find interesting is that condensed matter physics specialists are now applying some novel topological ideas to climate science.

Hey, if the study of Goldstone bosons in superconductors can be the impetus for the Higgs mechanism, I don't find the use of the physics from topological insulators to climate science that big of a stretch! :biggrin:

Zz.
 

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