Condensed matter physics is the largest subfield of physics; its focus is on studying key questions about the origins and nature of matter, where many interacting constituents can combine to produce novel properties, such as how light interacts with the matter. Experimentalists continue to create materials with new properties and with current techniques are manipulating materials at the quantum level. The properties and phase structure of these materials are studied at a variety of temperatures and measured with an ever-increasing diversity of probes. Theoretical insight into the fundamental causes of new properties, as well as first principles predictions of what might be possible, stimulate regular collaboration between experimental and theoretical physicists in this area. New forms of matter may exhibit properties that are useful in devices or they may strain our theoretical understanding of the origin of their properties. The study of matter at the nanometer scale provides one of the main sources of interdisciplinary links between physics and other fields and is a crucial component of the Columbia Nano Initiative.
For further details, visit the Condensed Matter and Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics research group page.