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2013 Autumn Term, 2:30 3:45 PM Tuesday and Thursday, Room SPL63
First class: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Prof. Leonid Glazman
Office: Physics SPL55A
Office Hour: Tuesday, 4:30 PM
Telephone: (203)432-6920, e-mail:
TA: Filip Kos,

Supplementary texts :
1. Statistical Physics, Part 1, L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, Pergamon Press, 1979.
2. Statistical Physics of Fields, Mehran Kardar, Cambridge University Press, 2007
3. Statistical Mechanics, Kerson Huang, J ohn Wiley & sons, 1987.
4. Introduction to Statistical Field Theory, Edouard Brezin, Cambridge University Press 2010.
5. Principles of Condensed Matter Physics, P.M. Chaikin and T.C. Lubensky, Cambridge
University Press 1997.
Tutorial articles:
1. The renormalization group and the -expansion. K.G. Wilson, J . Kogut, Physics Reports, v.
12C, p. 75 (1974)
2. Continuous quantum phase transitions. S.L. Sondhi, S.M. Girvin, J .P. Carini, D. Shahar, Rev.
Mod. Phys. v. 69, p. 315 (1997)
3. Topological insulators. M.Z. Hasan, C.L. Kane, Rev. Mod. Phys. v. 82, p. 3045 (2010)

Course Outline
1. Phase transitions.
-Mean field theory of phase transitions
-Fluctuations near the phase transition point
-Scaling and critical exponents
2. The Renormalization Group theory for the continuous phase transitions.
-The idea of coarse-graining. Exactly-solvable example of 1D Ising model.
-The Renormalization Group construction.
-Fixed points. Relevant, irrelevant, and marginal perturbations.
-Finding the critical exponents from the RG.
- Landau-Wilson model, non-trivial fixed points, and critical exponents at small =4-d.
3. Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition.
-Two-dimensional degenerate systems.
-Low- and high-temperature asymptotes of the spin correlation function.
-Topological defects: vortices. Vortex-antivortex unbinding transition; RG analysis.
-Examples of BKT transitions.
4. Quantum phase transitions.
-Ground state, partition function and path integral of a quantum system.
-Phenomenology of superconductivity, J osephson effect, and Coulomb blockade.
-Superconductor-insulator transition in a 1D array of J osephson junctions.
5. Topological phases, Majorana fermions.
-Spin-1/2 quantum Ising and XY models in 1D.
-1D Kitaev model, Majorana fermions.

Assignments: Homework nominally will be given every week and due before the class in a week
from the assignment date. Grading: Homeworks