Condensed matter physics V

Ichiro TERASAKI Professor

Department: School of Science / Graduate School of Science

Class Time: 2014 Fall Thursday
Recommended for: 4th grade undergraduates
master-course graduate students

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Key Features

You can start to understand how electricity and heat conduct in a solid by employing fundamental knowledge of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical physics. In this sense, for 4th-year undergraduates and master-course graduate students, this topic not only works as a good playground for practice to understand fundamental physics, but also serves as an important foundation for higher research. Also, the electrical conductivity differs by 1030 in magnitude between insulators and metals. Such a huge difference cannot be found in any other physical quantities, and one of the most fundamental problems in condensed matter physics has been why and how some crystals become metallic while others become insulators.

In this lecture course, without assuming any levels of condensed matter physics, we will try to review the transport phenomena in solids as simply as possible (without overlooking details). Students will tackle problems regarding conduction of electricity and heat in materials by combining elementary knowledge of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical physics, etc. which students should have learned by the end of the 3rd year. To do so, rather than teaching technical knowledge, we will be focusing on learning how to apply the theories in real life issues. Students who do not major (or are not planning to major) in condensed matter physics are also welcome to come audit to the lecture.

Each lecture consists of a 70-min blackboard writing (including question and answer) and a 15-min slide projection. In the slides, we will show how the topics given in the writing are developed and applied in modern physics so that the learning stays in the student's memories as well present them with starting points to cutting edge research.

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Reference book


Course Schedule

Session Contents
1 Classical theory of free electrons in metals
2 The Hall effect and the Seebeck effect
3 Implementation quantum mechanics
4 From atom to crystal: Tight-binding approximation
5 Band theory
6 Boltzmann transport equations for electrons in solids
7 Electrical Conductivity of metals
8 Electrical Conductivity of semiconductors
9 Linear response theory: Nakano-Kubo-Greenwood formula
10 Introduction to second quantization
11 Hubbard model
12 Mott insulators and Mott transition
13 Topics from cutting-edge research 1
14 Topics from cutting-edge research 2
15 Topics from cutting-edge research 3


Grade is evaluated from attendance and final report. The tasks for the final report will be announced around the end of the year. Each student must prepare a sheet of A5 paper which they will submit with their school ID, name and any question or comment that they had regarding the lecture. Only this will be counted as attendance and any without comment or question will be seen as absent.

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Page last updated July 9, 2015

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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