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Quantum Many-Body Physics

Module PH2256

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2019/20 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8

Basic Information

PH2256 is a semester module in English language at which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Specialization Modules in Elite-Master Program Theoretical and Mathematical Physics (TMP)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
300 h 90 h 10 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2256 is Sergej Moroz.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an introduction into quantum many-body physics. We will cover basic quantum field-theoretical methods and their application to various many-body problems of condensed matter theory, such as Fermi and Luttinger liquids, superfluids and superconductors and quantum Hall fluids. This module will provide students with a basic knowledge for starting independent research in quantum condensed matter physics. The exercise classes will supplement the lectures with regular instructions and problem sets. The problem sets will help to understand and deepen the physical concepts presented in the lecture.


  • Introduction into quantum many-body problem:
    emergence and collective behavior, quantum fields, second quantization

  • Path integral formulation of quantum field theory: 
    single-particle quantum mechanics from the path integral, coherent states and functional integrals, partition function as a functional integral
  • Linear response theory
    response functions, fluctuation-dissipation theorem, conductivity of Fermi gas

  • Fermi liquid theory:
    Fermi liquid ground state, quasiparticles and their stability, collective modes, Landau damping, non-Fermi liquids

  • Luttinger liquids:
    pecularities of physics in one dimension, Luttinger model, basic of bosonization, correlation functions, relation to conformal field theories and two-dimensional classical XY model

  • Superfluids and superconductors:
    physical properties of superfluids and superconductors, BCS theory, phase stiffness, vortices, rotating superfluids, boson-vortex duality in two dimensions, Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition, chiral superfluids and superconductors 

  • Quantum Hall fluids:
    basics of quantum Hall effect, flux attachment and Chern-Simons theory, topological order and anyons in fractional quantum Hall fluids, abelian Chern-Simons theory and the hierarchy of quanum Hall states, edge of quantum Hall fluids, non-abelian quantum Hall states, Dirac fermion duality

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this module students will be able to

  • apply field theory techniques in condensed matter physics
  • use second quantization, coherent states, path integrals, linear resonse theory to solve many-body problems
  • understand theoretical paradigms that are central in modern condensed matter physics
  • have a working knowledge of the physics of Fermi liquids, one-dimensional Luttinger liquids, superfluids and superconductors, quantum Hall liquids


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 4 Quantum Many-Body Physics Moroz, S. Wed, 10:00–12:00, PH 3344
Mon, 10:00–12:00, PH 3344
UE 2 Quantum Many-Body Physics Benzoni, C. Borla, U.
Responsible/Coordination: Moroz, S.
dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

The course consists of a lecture and exercise classes. The lecture is designed for the presentation of the subject, usually by blackboard presentation. The focus resides on theoretical foundations of the field, presentation of methods and simple, illustrative examples. Command of basic methods is deepened and practised through homework problems, which cover important aspects of the field. The homework problems should develop the analytic skills of the students and their ability to perform calculations. The homework problems are discussed in the exercises by the students themselves under the supervision of a tutor in order to develop the skills to explain a physics problem logically.


In classroom lectures the content is presented on blackboard. Questions from students are welcome. The handwritten script will appear on the web-page of the lecture, where students can also find the relevant literature for self-study.

In tutorials we will discuss the solutions of home-work assignments which would provide students with a practical knowledge of the material discussed in the lecture and will prepare them for doing research in condensed matter physics.


  • P. Coleman, Introduction to Many-Body Physics
  • A. Altland & B. Simons, Condensed Matter Field Theory 
  • T. Giamachi, Quantum Physics in One Dimension
  • E. Fradkin, Field Theories of Condensed Matter Physics
  • X.-G. Wen, Quantum Field Theory of Many-Body Systems

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using presentations independently prepared by the students. The exam of 25 minutes consists of the presentation and a subsequent discussion.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Using perturbation theory, calculate the Landau parameters for fermions with a weak short-range potential
  • What is the main difference between Luttinger and Fermi liquids
  • Analyze the fermionic energy spectrum and derive the Chern number of a chiral superconductor
  • What are anyons and why they emerge only in two-dimensional world?

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam to Quantum Many-Body Physics
Mon, 2020-02-03 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin vor Mo, 23.03.2020. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date before Mon, 2020-03-23. till 2020-01-15 (cancelation of registration till 2020-02-02)
Tue, 2020-03-24 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin zwischen Di, 24.03.2020 und Sa, 18.04.2020. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date between Tue, 2020-03-24 and Sat, 2020-04-18. till 2020-03-23
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