I just finished all 15 video lectures of Condensed Matter Course in PSI 2015/2016 program early today. The main lecturer of this course is Professor Oleg Tchernyshyov from Johns Hopkins University.

Lecture 6 – 10 are given by the other lecture who is I believe the faculty member in Perimeter Institute. These four lectures talk about more mathematical contents like path integrals for Fermions, which corresponds to chapter 5 and 6 of Shankar’s QFT book (see my review of this book). The account of this lecturer is a little hard to follow and I believe this part is better to learn by doing all the derivation on one’s own, instead just watching others doing all the calculation. I’m already very familiar with free field formulation for bosons and fermions, but still not very comfortable with interactive theories. I think I would get my self familiar with this by studying Altland’s book or Orland’s book.

Remaining part of the lectures are all given by Prof. Tchernyshyov, who is a great teacher. In first five lectures, he talks about magnetic systems. The nice thing about his lecture is that he always gives enough motivation before writing down a Lagrangian. For example, when he discusses field description of ferromagnet, the potential term that ensures alignment of nearby spins are straightforward, but the kinetic term is trickier. He uses the classical equation of motion of a gyroscope to motive this term. I believe such kind of exposition is excellent. He goes on to talk about general and soliton solutions of this field theory. One lecture is about antiferromagnetic, whose field description is similar to ferromagnet ones with a few differences. I really want to study magnetic system in more details after watching his lecture videos.

In last five lectures, he mainly talks about superfluidity, superconductivity and quantum Hall effect. A phenomenological theory proposed by Landau is introduced to explain superfluidity and superconductivity. I now know what is going on in these systems. I believe his lectures were a good first pass on these topics for me.

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