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Durham University

Department of Physics

PHYS4141 Advanced Theoretical Physics (2012/13)

Details of the module's prerequisites, learning outcomes, assessment and contact hours are given in the official module description in the Faculty Handbook - follow the link above.  A detailed description of the module's content is given below, together with book lists and a link to the current library catalogue entries.  For an explanation of the library's categorisation system see


Quantum Theory in Condensed Matter

Dr S.A. Gardiner

18 lectures in Michaelmas Term


Required: Superconductivity, Superfluids and Condensates, J.F. Annett (Oxford University Press, 2004)
Additional: Superfluidity and Superconductivity, D.R. Tilley and J. Tilley (IOP publishing 1990)
Additional: Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems, A. L. Fetter and J.D. Walecka (Dover, 2003)

Syllabus: Review of Bose-Einstein condensation in the ideal gas and in dilute atomic gases. Superfluidity, interactions, and excitations (phonons, rotons) in Helium II. Phenomenology of superconductivity. Ginzburg-Landau theory. Introduction to many-body quantum field theory in bosonic and fermionic systems. Phonons and Cooper pairs, BCS theory and quasiparticles. These will be developed in a rigerous and manthematical fashion.

Quantum Optics

Dr M. P. A. Jones

18 lectures in Epiphany Term


Additional: Introductory Quantum Optics, C Gerry and P. L. Knight (Cambridge)
Additional: Quantum Optics: An Introduction, M. Fox (Oxford)
Additional: The Quantum Theory of Light, R. Loudon (Oxford)
Additional:  A Guide to Experiments in Quantum Optics, H. A. Bachor (Wiley-VCH)

Syllabus: Quantization of light, creation and annihilation operators, Hamiltonian of the field, number states, coherent states, squeezed states, photon bunching and anti-bunching, density operator, pure states, mixed states, entangled states, decoherence, EPR experiments, applications.


2 lectures in Easter Term, one by each lecturer

Teaching methods

Lectures: 2 one-hour lectures per week

Problem exercises: See