Stockholm university
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Condensed Matter Physics

What is it about carbon that makes a diamond hard but graphite soft, graphite a conductor but diamond an insulator, and graphene a hard conductor? If you like order and structure, this course has it all.

The course covers basic concepts of condensed matter physics such as crystal structures, the Drude model and the Sommerfeld theory, phonons, Bloch’s theorem, reciprocal space, the tight binding model, the nearly free electron model, energy bands and quasi-particles, semiconductors, and magnetism. An overview is given of the variety of physical properties that different materials exhibit, including optical, thermal, electrical, and magnetic effects. Experimental techniques for fundamental studies of materials are introduced.

  • Course structure

    This is a second cycle course given at half speed during daytime. This course can also be taken as a third cycle course.


    This course consists of two parts:

    Theory: The basic physical descriptions of material properties will be discussed, and how a material’s electronic and crystal structure governs their optical, thermal, electrical, and magnetic properties, and which physical models are best applied to mathematically describe the system

    Experiment: Here you will explain, analyze and discuss experimental methods and interpret the corresponding measurement results in condensed matter physics.

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of seminars, group education, and obligatory laboratory exercises.


    Theory: The theory aspect of the course is examined through a final written examination and continual assessment

    Experiment: The experimental aspect of the course is examined through a written and oral presentation of the laboratory exercises.


    Andreas Rydh

    Phone: +468 5537 8692


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    “Solid State Physics,” by N. W. Ashcroft and N. D. Mermin, Saunders College Publishing, ISBN 0-03-083993-9

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course coordinator and teacher:
    Andreas Rydh, tel: 08 5537 8692, e-mail:

    Laboratory supervisor:
    Alban Seguinard, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: