Condensed Matters

This is Condensed Matters, a website run by students of the Scottish Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics to share interesting stories about themes related to condensed matter.

What is condensed matter?

Condensed Matter Physics is a broad term that encompasses a lot of different areas of physics. Generally, it considers what happens when a large number of atoms are interacting with one another. This can include quantum interactions between small groups of atoms, or the physical properties of macroscopic materials.

The images above show (l-r): an example from soft-matter physics of colloidal particles interacting with a liquid crystal, a device made using atomic layer deposition, and a dilution refrigerator used to study superconducting materials at cryogenic temperatures. All of these fall under the theme of condensed matter.

Take a look at our latest article:

Generating Extremes: Temperatures

‘Extreme’ is a relative word: an Antarctic -30°C may seem extremely cold to you or me, but it’s fairly standard for an emperor penguin. In the laboratory, extremes can be far more dramatic: we approach the absolute limits of physical properties like temperature, reaching levels that can’t easily be comprehended. At these farthest limits we can explore exciting science which broadens our understanding of the fundamental forces in nature and provides insight that can lead to new technologies.

Or look back at past issues of Condensed Matters; the previous incarnation of our work as a printed magazine: