What is a good way for me to learn the basics of condensed matter physics? I'd like to get a better understanding of the fundamentals behind recent technological developments like OLEDs, applications of graphene, or get a grip on what the fractional hall effect is about. I don't expect to do research in these areas, but I would like to be able to have meaningful conversations with people working in these areas.

My background is this: I have a PhD in pure mathematics, I even studied a little solid state physics (eg. Bloch waves), QFT and a first course in String Theory, but a long time ago now. My mathematics is much stronger than my physics intuition so I'm looking for a more mathematical treatment. My lab experience is precisely zero. I'm more interested in the theoretical ideas than precise details.

Are there any books or downloadable lecture notes that might be recommended for someone in my position?


1 Answer 1


Here are some online lecture notes by Chetan Nayak which look pretty good:

Introductory: http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~nayak/solid_state.pdf

More advanced: http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~nayak/many_body.pdf


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