Condensed matter physics – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Condensed matter physics

Condensed matter physics is concerned with the understanding of the physical properties of solids and liquids, both naturally occurring and artificially produced.

The understanding of the macroscopic properties, for example, magnetism and electrical resistance, is based on a statistical description of an astronomically large number of atoms. Given the periodic table and the well-understood quantum mechanical description of the individual atoms, the number of combinations is infinite, which leaves plenty of room for discovering new fascinating phenomena.

Condensed matter physics is the foundation for many every-day technologies, ranging from hardening of steel to integrated microchips. Modern research in condensed matter physics takes place in both large scale x-ray and neutron scattering facilities, as well as in locally based laboratories, where quantum phenomena are being explored at temperatures near absolute zero. There is a vivid exchange between condensed matter and neighboring research areas, including biophysics, nanoscience, chemistry, optics, and quantum information.