CMP is uniquely focused on new properties and phenomena that emerge from the aggregation of strongly interacting constituents. Perhaps most importantly, the size of these aggregates is on the scale of life, ranging from atoms to objects that can be held in the human hand.
More than any other discipline, CMP guides our understanding of the world we experience, and has the potential to help solve the challenging problems that we face in the new century.
Berkeley boasts a large community of researchers in condensed matter physics and materials physics with diverse interests, both on campus and at the nearby Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The research activities of the experimentalists fall into several of the central topics of CMP: quantum information, physics of nanomaterials, magnetism, quantum materials, optical properties, photoemission, superconductivity, and new materials.
The goal of condensed matter theory is to understand the rich phenomena that emerge from relatively simple constituents (electrons and nuclei) and rules (nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and Maxwell’s equations). The theory group works closely with experimental groups at Berkeley and elsewhere, as new theoretical developments in condensed matter are typically both stimulated and validated by experiment.