Topic outline

  • Magnetism is a key subject in solid-state physics, which underwent four revolutionary changes in the course of the twentieth century; understanding of the physics, extension to high frequencies, the avalanche of consumer applications and, most recently, the emergence of spintronics. This course introduces fundamental concepts in magnetism and spintronics through lectures and exercises, and it provides an overview of recent developments in science and technology.

    The course is structured into two parts. During the first six weeks, the lectures focus on the basics of magnetism and magnetic materials, and exercises are given as homework to develop the application of physical concepts. The topics of the first six lecture are:

    Lecture 1 - Fields and Moments

    Lecture 2 - Magnetism of Electrons

    Lecture 3 - Magnetism of Many-Electron Atoms

    Lecture 4 - Magnetic Order

    Lecture 5 - Micromagnetism: Magnetic Domains and Hysteresis

    Lecture 6 - Nanomagnetism 

    The lectures will be held on Tuesday. Homework exercises and some additional exercises will be discussed on Friday. During this part of the course, the textbook "magnetism and magnetic materials" by J.M.D Coey will be used as study material (available at Aalto Primo).

    The second part of the course focuses on more applied subjects such as techniques for
    magnetic characterization, spintronics, magnonics, and multiferroics. Besides introducing the fundamental physics of these sub-fields, recent developments and applications will be highlighted. While the textbook will still be used, it will be complemented by recent scientific articles. The students will select a recent topic for a more in-depth study and present the topic towards the end of the course (15 minutes presentation + discussion). This part of the course does not contain exercise sessions. Instead, the last 2-3 exercise session slots will be used for the student presentations.

    Course level

    The course is suitable for students who have completed their BSc degree and have a basic understanding of solid-state physics.


    5 ECT


    The course grade is determined by the submitted homework exercises (50%) and the student presentation (50%). There is no final exam.


    Prof. Sebastiaan van Dijken