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Condensed Matter Physics


Phases

Crystalline Solids

Non-crystalline solids

Soft condensed matter

Theoretical condensed matter physics

Nanotechnology

     

Introduction

Condensed matter physics: The branch of physics dealing with the physical properties of condensed phases of matter such as liquids and solids.

Condensed matter physics seeks to understand the behavior of condensed phases of matter by using known physical laws. Liquids and solids are the most well known forms of condensed matter but there are others particularly as a result of quantum mechanics. The atoms in condensed matter are closer together and more closely bounded together than in a gas as a result condensed matter tends to be some form of liquid or solid.


Phases

While condensed matter are mainly liquids and solids there are other phases but they tend to be forms of liquids or solids.

Liquids: A form of matter with a definite volume but no definite shape.
Solids: A form of matter with a definite volume and a definite shape.
Superconductors: A solid of certain materials cooled below a characteristic critical temperature that has exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic fields occurring in it.
Superfluids: A state of matter in which it behaves like a fluid with zero viscosity and zero entropy. All of the atoms are in the same quantum state.
Supersolids: A solid form of matter with superfluid properties.
Ferromagnetic: The solid form of matter where the magnetic fields of the individual atoms are aliened in the same direction so as to produce a net magnetic field.
Antiferromagnetic: The solid form of matter where the magnetic fields of the individual atoms in different sublattices are aliened in different directions so as to produce no net magnetic field.
Bose-Einstein condensate: a state of matter consisting of a dilute gas of weakly interacting bosons that is confined in an external potential and cooled to almost absolute zero. It is the only known form of condensed matter that is a gas.


Phase transition: The shifting of matter between different states.

The most well know and easiest phase transition to observe is between solid and liquid. Such as ice melting. The phase transition between liquid and gas is next showing up in evaporation and boiling. The phase transition between solid and gas is next called sublimation it only occurs at the right temperature and pressure for the substance. Solid CO2 will sublimate room temperature and pressure  Other phase transition are more sublet as they may not produce a visible change in the object.


Crystalline Solids

Crystalline solid: A solid whose atoms, ions, or molecules are arranged in a three dimensional repeating orderly pattern.

Crystalline solids are commonly simply referred to as crystals Some common crystals that  most people would recognize are table salt, diamonds, and even snowflakes.

 

Table Salt – Sodium Chloride

2D illustration of the crystalline
structure of Sodium Chloride
2D illustration of the crystalline
structure of Sodium Chloride
Magnification of actual
sodium chloride crystals.
  By Raj6 (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0
or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons
Michel32nl at nl.wikipedia [GFDL,
CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5],
via Wikimedia Commons

Diamond

Diamond crystalline structure Uncut diamond

Non-crystalline solids

Non-crystalline solids: A solid whose atoms, ions, or molecules are not arranged in a repeating orderly pattern.

Examples of non-crystalline solids include glass, gels, thin films, and nanostructured materials.

Glass: A non-crystalline solid material that tends to be optically transparent and brittle.
Gels: A non-crystalline solid with a jelly-like structure. Its structure can be soft and weak to hard and tough.
Thin films: A non-crystalline solid consisting of layers of material from a few nanometers to some tens of micrometers thick that are deposited on an underlying substrate.
Nanostructured materials: A non-crystalline solid that has short-range order at the atomic scale but not on the large scale. The sometimes contain very small crystals.

Soft condensed matter

Soft condensed matter: condensed matter that is easily deformed by stresses.
Examples include liquids, polymers, gels, colloids, foams, granular materials, and some biological materials.
Liquids: A form of matter with a definite volume but no definite shape.
Polymers: Substances consisting of molecules with high molar masses and made of large numbers of repeating units.
Gels: A non-crystalline solid with a jelly-like structure. Its structure can be soft and weak to hard and tough.
Colloids: A substance that is microscopically spread evenly throughout another substance. 
Foams: A substance consisting of pockets of gas trapped inside a solid or liquid.
Granular materials: A mixture of discrete macroscopic solid particles that lose of energy when particles interact.

Conclusion

Condensed matter physics is mainly the physics of liquids and solids. It deals with the physical properties of various types of liquids and solids and the transitions between those types.

 

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