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PX446 - Condensed Matter Physics II

  • Module code: PX446
  • Module name: Condensed Matter Physics II
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

To offer an account of important electronic properties of materials. Topics covered will be magnetism, electronic transport, optical properties of matter and superconductivity. There should be an emphasis on the connection between theory and experiment, and emerging ideas such as quantum criticality and topology may be discussed.

Principal learning outcomes

Students should: Understand aspects of some magnetic, electrical, optical and superconducting properties of materials; Become aware of the existing range of functional materials and the experiments used to probe their properties; Have developed insight into areas of research interest in condensed matter physics

Timetabled teaching activities

30 Lectures

Departmental link

Other essential notes

Many phenomena observed in condensed matter, like magnetism and superconductivity, are the result of interactions between electrons. This module looks at some of these phenomena, how to observe them and how to use them. An important concept in the modelling of these many-electron systems is Landau's idea of the quasiparticle. Excitations of a system of interacting particles can be put into one-to-one correspondence with excitations of non-interacting particles but with a finite lifetime. It's a brilliant idea and helps us understand many (almost all) measurable properties of interest. Landau also set up the most important models of the free energy of the magnets and superconductors in applied fields, which the module studies.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: PX446-15)
B (Examination only) 2 hour examination (April) 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 4