Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The student obtains on different traditional fields of materials physics the basic knowledge  about materials' ionic and electronic properties, materials-related phenomena, and models used to describe them. Thereafter, she or he can apply this knowledge to follow broadly the modern materials research and become a researcher on a particular materials physics' field based on experimental or theoretical (computational) methods.


Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.03.2021 - 03.06.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Jose Lado Villanueva

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Jose Lado Villanueva

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Selected topics in materials physics: Electron dynamics in periodic solids, physics of semiconductors, lattice defects, dielectric properties of solids, magnetism. The last two topics include also interaction of materials with electromagnetic fields.

  • Applies in this implementation:

        Lecture 1: Second quantization, mean-field and spontaneous symmetry breaking

        Lecture 2: Symmetries, reciprocal space, Bloch’s theorem

        Lecture 3: Band structure theory, tight binding, nearly free electron and k.p

        Lecture 4: Linear response theory, Kubo formalism

        Lecture 5: Topological band structure theory

        Lecture 6: Electrons in a magnetic field, quantum Hall effect and Landau Levels

        Lecture 7: Fractionalization in quantum materials: The fractional quantum Hall effect

        Lecture 8: Phonons in metals, electron-phonon coupling and Peierls instability

        Lecture 9: Superconductivity, Nambu representation and Majorana physics

        Lecture 10: Mott insulators and density waves

        Lecture 11: Magnetism, magnons, quantum magnetism and spinons

        Lecture 12: Numerical methods: density functional theory and tensor network formalism

        Lecture 13: Machine learning in quantum materials

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Lectures with pre-assignments, exercise sessions with problem solutions to be handed back. Grading is based on two midterm exams as well as on returned pre-assignments and exercise problem solutions.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Oral exam (two parts, 10 min each), one from each part of the course (30%)

    Write a Wiki article explaining one of the selected physical concepts, group work (20%)

    Write a Wiki article explaining one of the selected physical concepts, group work (20%)

    Group presentations about a topic (20%)

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Contact teaching includes lectures and exercises totally 48 h.
    Independent work: 76 h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    S. Elliott: The Physics and Chemistry of Solids

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The Oxford Solid State Basics, Steve Simon

    Many-Body Quantum Theory in Condensed Matter Physics: An Introduction (Oxford Graduate Texts), Henrik Bruus and Karsten Flensberg.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course replaces the course Tfy-3.4311 Materials Physics.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    PHYS-C0240 Materiaalifysiikka