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Condensed Matter Physics - Intro

In physics, condensed matter physics is a branch of physics that deals with the macroscopic physical properties of matter. Condensed matter physicists seek to understand the behavior of these properties, which typically occur at extremely low temperatures and very high densities. The most familiar examples of condensed matter include solids and liquids, which can be contrasted with gases, the other states of matter. The distinction between the two is not sharply defined, but generally, liquids are "liquids" when they are able to flow, while solids are "solids" when their constituent particles are "locked in place".


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Video Transcript

Welcome to the next unit in physics 103 where we will start to discuss condensed matter physics. Now we have talked about gas is then we talked about bound electrons, and then we talked about bound nuclear IANS. And now it's time to talk about what happens when you put together a whole lot of atoms and bind them. Um, so that's the study of condensed matter. Physics essentially is saying, Hey, let's look at what happens when we have atoms that have bonded together and we want to know what sort of behavior arrives because of these bonds. Now this has a lot of crossover with chemistry and the material science occasionally with biology, because essentially, this is the study of solids and liquids, and it turns out solids and liquids show up in a lot of different places. Um, and we will be looking at how the what kinds of bonds are used to bind these to these atoms together and large blocks or loosely in liquids. But we'll focus more on solids because the mathematics is a little simpler. We'll talk about how these bonds result in the behaviors that we observe with macroscopic materials such as why metals behave like metals insulators like insulators and semiconductors like semiconductors. We'll also take quick foray into super conductivity and talk about how that arises. This is a very interesting in large field. In fact, there was an estimate not long ago that something like 60% of all physics majors graduate having done research in condensed matter physics because it is such a broad area. Um, lots of different types of research happen under this umbrella, so we will dig into this here by starting with a conversation about what sorts of bonds air used to hold atoms together in large groups.