NFYB10021U Condensed Matter Physics 2 (CMP2)

Volume 2023/2024

MSc Programme in Nanoscience
MSc Programme in Physics


The course provides an introduction to interesting phenomena in condensed matter physics including spontaneous symmetry breaking, collective phenomena in condensed matter physics, magnetism, superconductivity, 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.

Learning Outcome

The student should be able to:

  • describe how and why electrons couple to external fields.
  • describe and distinguish different forms of atomic magnetism.
  • understand the basics of mean-field theory, Landau models, and apply it to concrete models.
  • 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.


Initially we study atomic physics and the coupling of atoms to external fields. Then, including interactions the exchange mechanism is introduced, and we will study the different faces of magnetism, and apply 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 study the breakdown of mean-field theory and the role of fluctuations. Then we will introduce superconductivity and study this fascinating quantum state by phenomenological models. This will allow us to study for example flux quantization, Josephson junctions, and vortex lattices.

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.

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


Blundell: “Magnetism in condensed matter"

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

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

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures and exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 141,5
  • Theory exercises
  • 32
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Total
  • 206,0
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
20 minutes without preparation time.
Exam registration requirements

3 home assignments must be approved in order to take the exam.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More internal examiners

same as regular exam.

If a student has not fulfilled the exam prerequisite, new answers to assignments can be handed in no later then 3 weeks before the oral re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

see learning outcome