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Condensed Matter Physics


Admission Requirements

Introduction to solid state physics: bandstructure, crystal symmetries, phonons. Introductory quantum mechanics course.


In this course we provide students with an overview of topics that are of interest in current experimental condensed matter physics research. Students will be introduced to a set of contemporary topics, including low-dimensional systems, mesoscopic physics, the quantum hall effect, and high temperature superconductivity. Our goal is to motivate the models and theories that are used in these topics. Special focus will lie on explaining the experimental work.

The course puts an emphasis on the research performed in the condensed matter groups in the Leiden institute of physics.

Course objectives

  • The student has an overview of the main themes of contemporary condensed matter physics

  • The student can explain why different models are chosen for different systems

  • The student is able to recognize a system that is described by single-electron physics.

  • The student is able to explain how a correlated electron system is different from a single-electron system.

  • The student has studied an example of frontier research in condensed matter, and summarized it.

  • After this course the student is able to apply the methods of this course to examples that illustrate the many-particle physics that is being studied in condensed matter physics today.


See timetable in Brightspace

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and workgroups. 12 times a 2 hour lecture and 6 times a 2 hour workgroup.

Assessment method

75% of the grade is due to the exam, which may be oral or written depending on the situation, 25% of the grade is due to an essay the students write about a current experimental research project in the Institute of Physics.

Reading list

Material will be available through Brightspace and must be studied before the start of each lecture.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Lecturers Dr. M.P Allan SJ van der Molen