Quantum Phases of Matter and Quantum Phase Transitions

Fall/Winter 2011

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Physics Department
Contact Instructor
#516 Jiao-12
Yuquan Campus
8795-3694 (O)

Lecture Schedule:

Monday, 13:15-15:40, Yuquan Jiao-12 #504


; Yuquan Jiao-12 #516; Phone: 8795-3694

Office Hours:

Monday, 18:30-19:30, Jiao-12 #516 (by appointment)


Quantum phases are quantum states of matter at zero temperature. Even at zero temperature a quantum-mechanical system has quantum fluctuations and therefore can still support phase transitions. As a physical parameter is varied, quantum fluctuations can drive a phase transition into a different phase of matter. An example of a quantum phase transition is the disorder-driven Anderson localization in electron systems. Symmetry plays an important role in the classification of quantum phases and phase transitions. Recently, systems with topological aspects arise as one of the major subjects in condensed matter physics. Examples include quantum Hall systems, graphene, topological insulators, etc. This course explores the background, models, methods, and research progress in these systems.


Solid State Physics or equivalent

Reading List:

  1. Altland, A. and B. Simons, Condensed Matter Field Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  2. Anderson, P. W., Concepts in Solids, World Scientific, 1997.
  3. Goldenfeld, Lectures on Phase Transitions and the Renormalization Group, Westview Press, 1992.
  4. Prange, R. E. and S. M. Girvin, The Quantum Hall Effect, 2nd ed., Springer, 1989.
  5. Sachdev S., Quantum Phase Transitions, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  6. Thouless, D. J., Topological Quantum Numbers in Nonrelativistic Physics, World Scientific Pub Co Inc, 1998.
  7. Yoshioka, D., The Quantum Hall Effect, Springer, 2002.

Last updated on December 19, 2011 by WAN Xin