Condensed matter physics is the physics of the “many”: many particles, many interactions, many classes of thermodynamic phases. Systems of this type are distinctive in that the large number of involved particles both precludes the possibility of obtaining exact quantum mechanical solutions and provides a rich backdrop from which an oftentimes beautiful array of simple, unexpected, and bizarre new properties can begin to emerge. As such, the study of condensed matter is both the single largest subfield of active basic research investigation in physics and is a subfield boasting a plethora of connections to industrial applications. Departmental condensed matter research topics include magnetism, the absorption and emission of light by solids, strongly-correlated electronic systems, spintronics, synthetic quantum systems, topological phases of matter, machine learning applications, and computational fluid dynamics. For information and to learn about research opportunities, contact Peter Beyersdorf, Alejandro Garcia, Ranko Heindl, Hilary Hurst, Ehsan Khatami, or Christopher Smallwood.
See also the SJSU Materials Characterization and Metrology Center.