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Quantum field theory for condensed matter physics

This course is being given in Michaelmas 2012. It aims to give a brief introduction to quantum field theory for first-year graduate students in experimental condensed matter physics. The course assumes undergraduate quantum mechanics and undergraduate condensed matter physics. (An older version of this course was given from 1997-2002)


Why study this subject? First, quantum field theory provides a beautiful and elegant description of the Universe in which we live. Second, the ideas of quantum field theory are foundational for condensed matter physics. Third, even if you are an experimentalist, you will read papers by theorists who invoke ideas from quantum field theory. This course is too brief to give you professional proficiency in the subject, but hopefully it will convey some of the key ideas and provide a springboard for further study.


1. Creation and annihilation operators and the harmonic oscillator
2. Coherent states
3. Lagrangians
4. The Hubbard model
5. Quantum fields
6. How to write down a theory
7. Symmetry and transformations
8. Broken symmetry

Course-related links
Quantum theory-related links
(Updated: October 2012)
Email: s dot blundell at physics.ox.ac.uk