EX4: Magnetism in Condensed Matter Systems

Module title: Magnetism in Condensed Matter Systems (EX4)

Module convenor: Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn

Module aims:

This course aims to cover some of the variety of magnetic effects seen in condensed matter physics. The first part of the course looks at how atoms come to possess magnetic moments, and how they then interact with each other. With this background in place, the second part of the course then considers how magnetic order can occur, and the different forms of order that are seen. Along the way, some of the common experimental techniques used to study magnetic materials are discussed.


Isolated magnetic moments

Starting with an atom in a magnetic field, diamagnetism and paramangetism will be explored, along with the ground state of a magnetic ion.

Crystal field effects

The origin of crystal fields and the Jahn-Teller effect will be discussed.

Exchange interactions

Exchange interactions are key to long range order in magnetic systems, although the effect itself is quite subtle. It is a demonstration of how quantum mechanics is at the heart of many everyday observations.

Long range magnetic order

A look at ferromagnets, antiferromagnets, and some more complicated systems such as spin glasses. The characteristic excitations fo such systems will also be looked at.

Magnetism of the electron gas

The RKKY interaction.


Please send me one or two paragraphs describing how a subject from this course was important in a journal article. A list of suggested articles is provided in the lecture notes, but you may select another.

Course details

Academic year: 
12/02/2013 - 09:00