Condensed Matter Physics 2 (CMP2)

Course content

The course provides an introduction to interesting phenomena in condensed matter physics including electronic structure theory, spontaneous symmetry breaking, magnetism, superconductivity, non-equilibrium transport, optical conductivity, quantum Hall effect etc.
This course is an introduction to selected topics in condensed matter physics, building on the foundations of condensed matter physics 1 (CMP1).
The course serves as an excellent continuation of CMP1 and/or CMT1 and can be taken equally well on 3rd or 4th year.


MSc Programme in Physics

MSc Programme in Nanoscience

Learning outcome

The student should be able to:

  • describe how and why the free-electron band model works/fails.
  • describe how and why electrons interact in solid materials.
  • understand the basics of mean-field theory, Landau models, and apply it to concrete models.
  • use the rules of semiclassical electron dynamics and the Boltzmann equation to calculate the basic transport properties of solids.
  • describe the different types of magnetically ordered structures.
  • derive the magnetic excitations of ordered moments.
  • explain the basic properties of superconductivity.
  • describe the foundation and consequences of Ginzburg-Landay theory
  • use the BCS theory to understand the microscopic properties of superconductivity.

We will initially review the basics of solid state theory in terms of band structure and nearly-free electrons. Then we will study magnetism and mean-field theory in terms of both Landau models and microscopic models. We will use this to study the general properties of phase transitions in solid systems and briefly touch of the concepts of universality and critical phenomena. Also we will discuss the break down of mean-field theory and the role of fluctuations. Then we will introduce superconductivity and study this fascinating quantum state by both phenomenological models and the microscopic BCS theory. This will allow us to study Josephson junctions, vortex lattices, Andreev reflection etc.

This course will provide the students with a competent background for further studies within the research field of condensed matter physics, including both theoretical and experimental M.Sc. projects at the local condensed matter groups. The general calculation skills acquired during the course will help the students in following more advanced courses and more readily attack future research projects.

Lectures and exercises

See Absalon for final course material. The following is an example of expected course literature.


Blundell: “Magnetism in condensed matter"

Supplementary litterature:

Kittel: “Introduction to Solid State Physics”

The student is expected to have followed courses on quantum mechanics (~15 ECTS), statistical physics and condensed matter physics.

It is recommended that students have taken an introductory condensed matter physics course prior to enrolling in this class.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
20 minutes without preparation time. The course contains three longer written hand-in problems, whose content and solution will be a natural part of the oral examination.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

see learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Theory exercises
  • 32
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Preparation
  • 141,5
  • English
  • 206,0