Condensed Matter Theory (MP473)     (Spring 2020)

Interactions, Magnetism and Superconductivity

To facilitate distance teaching, this course has now migrated to Moodle.
Please go to the MP473 Moodle pages for more information.
This page will no longer be kept up to date.


Class meets

Times and locations below are provisional

Course content

We will roughly cover the module content posted on the university's webpages.


There is no set text for the course. I will publish lecture notes.
If you discover any errors in the notes, or if you think something is missing or just not clear, please let me know (joost-dot-slingerland-at-thphys-dot-nuim-dot-ie).

Three solid state physics books that are widely used and contain treatments of some of the material we will cover, as well as lots of material on the structure of matter and on electronic structure are

# Title: Solid State Physics
# Authors: Neil W. Ashcroft and N. David Mermin

# First published 1976
# I have the International edition, 826 pages, ISBN 0-03-049346-3

# Title: Introduction to Solid State Physics
# Author: Charles Kittel
# First edition published 1953
# I have the 6th edition, published 1986, 646 pages, ISBN 0-471-87474-4 but there is a 7th edition.

# Title: Solid State Physics
# Authors: J.R. Hook and H.E. Hall
# Second edition published 1991 (first edition 1974)
# ISBN: 978-0471928058

Many more advanced books exist which cover aspects of magnetism, superconductivity and systems of interacting electrons. I will mention a few here:

Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems, by Fetter and Walecka
Condensed Matter Field Theory, by Altland and Simons
Condensed Matter Physics, by Marder
Condensed Matter in a Nutshell by Mahan (do not be fooled, still 590 pp.)
Interacting Electrons and Quantum Magnetism by Auerbach
Introduction to Superconductivity by Tinkham
Basic Superfluids by Guenault

There are many others - I may grow this list in the course of this course.

Exam and Continuous Assessment

There will be a two hour written examination which counts for 80% of the mark. Continuous Assessment (that is, hand-in exercises), make up the remaining 20%.
If the mark for continuous assessment should be lower than the exam mark, then the exam will count for 100%.

Old Exams with Solutions

All old exams can be found in the library's exam database.

Below I give a few exams with solutions for practice


There will be homework exercises to hand in roughly once per two weeks. These will be marked and the results will count for 20% of the final mark, but only if this raises your overall mark (otherwise the final mark is the exam mark)).
Please make sure your homework shows some cohesion as well as your name and student number.
I encourage you to work on the homework in small groups; it is important to learn to communicate about the subject. However, please make sure you do fully understand the solutions to the problems and please write them up from scratch, in your own words.

For this week's homework, see the Weekly Schedule


If you have questions, comments or suggestions for the lectures and the webpage, then please send me an email.
I can't promise to make everybody happy, but I will try.