Seminars in Condensed Matter Physics

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Type of exam

Oral exam


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Previous knowledge at the level of an introductory course in condensed matter physics is required.


The course will cover selected topics in condensed matter physics through a series of talks in which course professors and invited speakers will present and discuss recent advancements in the field.

It will include the following series of talks on:  

Light-matter interaction in condensed matter systems, Iacopo Carusotto (INO-CNR BEC and Physics Department, University of Trento) - 20 hours (January-April 2023)
1-recap of classical electrodynamics. Drude-Lorentz model of dieletric: polaritons in bulk media, scattering on localized objects. Light emission in complex environments, Purcell enhancement. Radiative corrections.
2-Quantum theory of (harmonic) dielectric: Hopfield model. Weak, strong and ultrastrong light-matter coupling regimes. Zero-point fluctuations, virtual vs. real photons. Dynamical Casimir physics.
3-Realistic models of optical response of atomic systems. Two-level systems (absorption and scattering) in gaseous samples, Mott insulators, and low-dimensional systems. Three-level systems: electromagnetically-induced transparency, slow light, Rydberg EIT.
4-recap of nonlinear optics. Basic processes (second harmonic generation, parametric downconversion, four-wave mixing, intensity-dependent refractive index). Semiclassical theory vs. quantum fluctuations and entanglement
5-Quantum optical processes in realistic media. Corrections to the harmonic Hopfield model: nonlinear dynamics, photon-photon scattering, photon blockade
6-Collective nonlinear dynamics and non-equilibrium phase transitions: from lasing and BEC to Kardar-Parisi-Zhang universality.

Graphene-based technologies, Vittorio Pellegrini (IIT-Genova and Bedimensional) - 6 hours (April-May 2023)

Coherent heat transport in nanosystems, Francesco Giazotto (NANO-CNR, Pisa) - 6 hours (March-April 2023)

Twistronics, Sergio Pezzini (NANO-CNR, Pisa) - 6 hours (May-June 2023)

Quantum detection systems, Carlo Sirtori (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Parigi) - 4 hours (May-June 2023)

The course will also include a selection of research talks that will be announced during the year. As a proficiency test for the course, first year PhD students should present a seminar on a topic related to those covered in the series of talks, while second year PhD students should present a seminar on a topic related to their own PhD research project.

Educational aims

To get acquainted with selected advanced topics in condensed matter physics through series of talks. To learn about current research efforts via tutorial and topical seminars.