PHY1487, Fall 2020

Some notes about PHY1487, Quantum Theory of Solids 1, for students considering taking this course.

A few details about how the course will be run:


Delivery:  Lectures will be 'synchronous online', which means that I will deliver them at a particular time (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm). They will be presented via BBCollaborate, which you can reach by logging into the course site on Quercus.


The lectures will be interactive. Students watching the lecture will be able to ask questions either live using their computer microphone, or using the chat window.


Occasionally, particularly long-winded mathematical derivations may be pre-recorded for asynchronous viewing, to save valuable lecture time.


The lecture notes will be scanned and posted on Canvas, so that they can be viewed asynchronously if you can't make it to one of the lectures.  I may also record the lectures, and post them.


Evaluation will be by problem sets (four or five, throughout the term), a small project, and a final exam. If the covid situation permits the final exam will be a three-hour in-person exam. But more likely it will be done online, either as an oral exam (if the class size permits), or a written exam.  This is to be decided. Nobody will be forced to attend an in-person exam if there is any danger. If the class size is small enough we could have presentations based on the projects, but otherwise it will be an essay-style writeup of some current topic in condensed matter physics. Details to follow.


If you have any questions feel free to email me at . 


Best wishes,



Textbook:  The main text for the course will be "Fundamentals of Condensed Matter Physics" by Marvin L Cohen and Steven G Louie.  The first six lectures or so will be review, for which a more elementary text is recommended.  "Solid-State Physics" by Harald Ibach and Hans Luth is particularly recommended.  It is available as an e-book through the UofT library, but Ashcroft and Mermin or a similar text would also suffice.