Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2020

Doctoral Department of Physics Information
More Information at: Link
Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Courses
Please note that this is an INCOMPLETE list of courses.
402-0317-00LSemiconductor Materials: Fundamentals and FabricationW6 credits2V + 1US. Schön, W. Wegscheider
AbstractThis course gives an introduction into the fundamentals of semiconductor materials. The main focus is on state-of-the-art fabrication and characterization methods. The course will be continued in the spring term with a focus on applications.
ObjectiveBasic knowledge of semiconductor physics and technology. Application of this knowledge for state-of-the-art semiconductor device processing
Content1. Fundamentals of Solid State Physics
1.1 Semiconductor materials
1.2 Band structures
1.3 Carrier statistics in intrinsic and doped semiconductors
1.4 p-n junctions
1.5 Low-dimensional structures
2. Bulk Material growth of Semiconductors
2.1 Czochralski method
2.2 Floating zone method
2.3 High pressure synthesis
3. Semiconductor Epitaxy
3.1 Fundamentals of Epitaxy
3.2 Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)
3.3 Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD)
3.4 Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE)
4. In situ characterization
4.1 Pressure and temperature
4.2 Reflectometry
4.3 Ellipsometry and RAS
4.5 STM, AFM
5. The invention of the transistor - Christmas lecture
Lecture notesLink
Prerequisites / NoticeThe "compulsory performance element" of this lecture is a short presentation of a research paper complementing the lecture topics. Several topics and corresponding papers will be offered on the moodle page of this lecture.
402-0526-00LUltrafast Processes in SolidsW6 credits2V + 1UY. M. Acremann, A. Vaterlaus
AbstractUltrafast processes in solids are of fundamental interest as well as relevant for modern technological applications. The dynamics of the lattice, the electron gas as well as the spin system of a solid are discussed. The focus is on time resolved experiments which provide insight into pico- and femtosecond dynamics.
ObjectiveAfter attending this course you understand the dynamics of essential excitation processes which occur in solids and you have an overview over state of the art experimental techniques used to study fast processes.
Content1. Experimental techniques, an overview

2. Dynamics of the electron gas
2.1 First experiments on electron dynamics and lattice heating
2.2 The finite lifetime of excited states
2.3 Detection of lifetime effects
2.4 Dynamical properties of reactions and adsorbents

3. Dynamics of the lattice
3.1 Phonons
3.2 Non-thermal melting

4. Dynamics of the spin system
4.1 Laser induced ultrafast demagnetization
4.2 Ultrafast spin currents generated by lasers
4.3 Landau-Lifschitz-Dynamics
4.4 Laser induced switching

5. Correlated materials
Lecture noteswill be distributed
Literaturerelevant publications will be cited
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture can also be followed by interested non-physics students as basic concepts will be introduced.
402-0464-00LOptical Properties of SemiconductorsW8 credits2V + 2UG. Scalari, T. Chervy
AbstractThis course presents a comprehensive discussion of optical processes in semiconductors.
ObjectiveThe rich physics of the optical properties of semiconductors, as well as the advanced processing available on these material, enabled numerous applications (lasers, LEDs and solar cells) as well as the realization of new physical concepts. Systems that will be covered include quantum dots, exciton-polaritons, quantum Hall fluids and graphene-like materials.
ContentElectronic states in III-V materials and quantum structures, optical transitions, excitons and polaritons, novel two dimensional semiconductors, spin-orbit interaction and magneto-optics.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: Quantum Mechanics I, Introduction to Solid State Physics
402-0484-00LExperimental and Theoretical Aspects of Quantum Gases Information
Does not take place this semester.
W6 credits2V + 1UT. Esslinger
AbstractQuantum Gases are the most precisely controlled many-body systems in physics. This provides a unique interface between theory and experiment, which allows addressing fundamental concepts and long-standing questions. This course lays the foundation for the understanding of current research in this vibrant field.
ObjectiveThe lecture conveys a basic understanding for the current research on quantum gases. Emphasis will be put on the connection between theory and experimental observation. It will enable students to read and understand publications in this field.
ContentCooling and trapping of neutral atoms

Bose and Fermi gases

Ultracold collisions

The Bose-condensed state

Elementary excitations



Interference and Correlations

Optical lattices
Lecture notesnotes and material accompanying the lecture will be provided
LiteratureC. J. Pethick and H. Smith, Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute Gases,
Proceedings of the Enrico Fermi International School of Physics, Vol. CXL,
ed. M. Inguscio, S. Stringari, and C.E. Wieman (IOS Press, Amsterdam,
402-0535-00LIntroduction to MagnetismW6 credits3GA. Vindigni
AbstractAtomic paramagnetism and diamagnetism, intinerant and local-moment interatomic coupling, magnetic order at finite temperature, spin precession, approach to equilibrium through thermal and quantum dynamics, dipolar interaction in solids.
Objective- Apply concepts of quantum-mechanics to estimate the strength of atomic magnetic moments and their interactions
- Identify the mechanisms from which exchange interaction originates in solids (itinerant and local-moment magnetism)
- Evaluate the consequences of the interplay between competing interactions and thermal energy
- Apply general concepts of statistical physics to determine the origin of bistability in realistic magnets
- Discriminate the dynamic responses of a magnet to different external stimuli
ContentThe lecture ''Introduction to Magnetism'' is the regular course on Magnetism for the Master curriculum of the Department of Physics of ETH Zurich. With respect to specialized courses related to Magnetism such as "Quantum Solid State Magnetism" (K. Povarov and A. Zheludev) or "Ferromagnetism: From Thin Films to Spintronics" (R. Allenspach), this lecture focusses on why only few materials are magnetic at finite temperature. We will see that defining what we understand by "being magnetic" in a formal way is essential to address this question properly.
Preliminary contents for the HS20:
- Magnetism in atoms (quantum-mechanical origin of atomic magnetic moments, intra-atomic exchange interaction)
- Magnetism in solids (mechanisms producing inter-atomic exchange interaction in solids, crystal field).
- Spin resonance and relaxation (Larmor precession, resonance phenomena, quantum tunneling, Bloch equation, superparamagnetism)
- Magnetic order at finite temperatures (Ising and Heisenberg models, low-dimensional magnetism)
- Dipolar interaction in ferromagnets (shape anisotropy, frustration and modulated phases of magnetic domains)
Lecture notesLearning material will be made available during the course:
- through the Moodle portal
- through a dedicated RStudio Server

The lecture is meant to be in-person. The automatic lecture hall recordings provided by ID-MMS will be placed on the link
Prerequisites / NoticeThe aim of the lecture is to let students understand the phenomenology of real magnets starting from the principles of quantum and statistical physics. During the course students will get acquainted with the related formalism. Applications to nanoscale magnetism will be considered from the perspective of basic underlying principles.
402-0595-00LSemiconductor NanostructuresW6 credits2V + 1UT. M. Ihn
AbstractThe course covers the foundations of semiconductor nanostructures, e.g., materials, band structures, bandgap engineering and doping, field-effect transistors. The physics of the quantum Hall effect and of common nanostructures based on two-dimensional electron gases will be discussed, i.e., quantum point contacts, Aharonov-Bohm rings and quantum dots.
ObjectiveAt the end of the lecture the student should understand four key phenomena of electron transport in semiconductor nanostructures:
1. The integer quantum Hall effect
2. Conductance quantization in quantum point contacts
3. the Aharonov-Bohm effect
4. Coulomb blockade in quantum dots
Content1. Introduction and overview
2. Semiconductor crystals: Fabrication and band structures
3. k.p-theory, effective mass
4. Envelope functions and effective mass approximation, heterostructures and band engineering
5. Fabrication of semiconductor nanostructures
6. Elektrostatics and quantum mechanics of semiconductor nanostructures
7. Heterostructures and two-dimensional electron gases
8. Drude Transport
9. Electron transport in quantum point contacts; Landauer-Büttiker description
10. Ballistic transport experiments
11. Interference effects in Aharonov-Bohm rings
12. Electron in a magnetic field, Shubnikov-de Haas effect
13. Integer quantum Hall effect
14. Coulomb blockade and quantum dots
Lecture notesT. Ihn, Semiconductor Nanostructures, Quantum States and Electronic Transport, Oxford University Press, 2010.
LiteratureIn addition to the lecture notes, the following supplementary books can be recommended:
1. J. H. Davies: The Physics of Low-Dimensional Semiconductors, Cambridge University Press (1998)
2. S. Datta: Electronic Transport in Mesoscopic Systems, Cambridge University Press (1997)
3. D. Ferry: Transport in Nanostructures, Cambridge University Press (1997)
4. T. M. Heinzel: Mesoscopic Electronics in Solid State Nanostructures: an Introduction, Wiley-VCH (2003)
5. Beenakker, van Houten: Quantum Transport in Semiconductor Nanostructures, in: Semiconductor Heterostructures and Nanostructures, Academic Press (1991)
6. Y. Imry: Introduction to Mesoscopic Physics, Oxford University Press (1997)
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture is suitable for all physics students beyond the bachelor of science degree. Basic knowledge of solid state physics is a prerequisit. Very ambitioned students in the third year may be able to follow. The lecture can be chosen as part of the PhD-program. The course is taught in English.
402-0715-00LLow Energy Particle PhysicsW6 credits2V + 1UA. S. Antognini, P. A. Schmidt-Wellenburg
AbstractLow energy particle physics provides complementary information to high energy physics with colliders. In this lecture, we will concentrate on flagship experiments which have significantly improved our understanding of particle physics today, concentrating mainly on precision experiments with neutrons, muons and exotic atoms.
ObjectiveYou will be able to present and discuss:
- the principle of the experiments
- the underlying technique and methods
- the context and the impact of these experiments on particle physics
ContentLow energy particle physics provides complementary information to high energy physics with colliders. At the Large Hadron Collider one directly searches for new particles at energies up to the TeV range. In a complementary way, low energy particle physics indirectly probes the existence of such particles and provides constraints for "new physics", making use of high precision and high intensities.

Besides the sensitivity to effects related with new physics (e.g. lepton flavor violation, symmetry violations, CPT tests, search for electric dipole moments, new low mass exchange bosons etc.), low energy physics provides the best test of QED (electron g-2), the best tests of bound-state QED (atomic physics and exotic atoms), precise determinations of fundamental constants, information about the CKM matrix, precise information on the weak and strong force even in the non-perturbative regime etc.

Starting from a general introduction on high intensity/high precision particle physics and the main characteristics of muons and neutrons and their production, we will then focus on the discussion of fundamental problems and ground-breaking experiments:

- search for rare decays and charged lepton flavor violation
- electric dipole moments and CP violation
- spectroscopy of exotic atoms and symmetries of the standard model
- what atomic physics can do for particle physics and vice versa
- neutron decay and primordial nucleosynthesis
- atomic clock
- Penning traps
- Ramsey spectroscopy
- Spin manipulation
- neutron-matter interaction
- ultra-cold neutron production
- various techniques: detectors, cryogenics, particle beams, laser cooling....
LiteratureGolub, Richardson & Lamoreaux: "Ultra-Cold Neutrons"
Rauch & Werner: "Neutron Interferometry"
Carlile & Willis: "Experimental Neutron Scattering"
Byrne: "Neutrons, Nuclei and Matter"
Klapdor-Kleingrothaus: "Non Accelerator Particle Physics"
Prerequisites / NoticeEinführung in die Kern- und Teilchenphysik / Introduction to Nuclear- and Particle-Physics
402-0767-00LNeutrino PhysicsW6 credits2V + 1UA. Rubbia, D. Sgalaberna
AbstractTheoretical basis and selected experiments to determine the properties of neutrinos and their interactions (mass, spin, helicity, chirality, oscillations, interactions with leptons and quarks).
ObjectiveIntroduction to the physics of neutrinos with special consideration of phenomena connected with neutrino masses.
Lecture notesScript
LiteratureB. Kayser, F. Gibrat-Debu and F. Perrier, The Physics of Massive Neutrinos, World Scientific Lecture Notes in Physic, Vol. 25, 1989, and newer publications.

N. Schmitz, Neutrinophysik, Teubner-Studienbücher Physik, 1997.

D.O. Caldwell, Current Aspects of Neutrino Physics, Springer.

C. Giunti & C.W. Kim, Fundamentals of Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics, Oxford.
402-0898-00LThe Physics of Electroweak Symmetry Breaking Information
Does not take place this semester.
W6 credits2V + 1Uto be announced
AbstractThe aim is to understand the need of physics beyond the Standard Model, the basic techniques of model building in theories BSM and the elements of collider physics required to analyze their phenomenological implications. After an introduction to the SM and alternative theories of electroweak symmetry breaking, we will investigate these issues in the context of models with warped extra dimensions.
ObjectiveAfter the course the student should have a good knowledge of some of the most relevant theories beyond the Standard Model and have the techniques to understand those theories that have not been surveyed in the course. He or she should be able to compute the constraints on any model of new physics, its successes explaining current experimental data and its main phenomenological implications at colliders.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe former title of this course unit was "The Physics Beyond the Standard Model". If you already got credits for "The Physics Beyond the Standard Model" (402-0898-00L), you cannot get credits for "The Physics of Electroweak Symmetry Breaking" (402-0898-00L).

The knowledge of basic concepts in quantum field theory is assumed.


Weekly schedule
> 13 - 15: Class
> By 18: Hand in exercises (TA: Nicolas Deutschmann)

> By 13: New exercise series (to be introduced the following day) posted

> 12 - 13: Exercise class
376-1791-00LIntroductory Course in Neuroscience I (University of Zurich) Information
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: SPV0Y005

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W2 credits2VW. Knecht, University lecturers
AbstractThe course gives an introduction to human and comparative neuroanatomy, molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience.
ObjectiveThe course gives an introduction to the development and anatomical structure of nervous systems. Furthermore, it discusses the basics of cellular neurophysiology and neuropharmacology. Finally, the nervous system is described on a system level.
Content1) Human Neuroanatomy I&II
2) Comparative Neuroanatomy
3) Building a central nervous system I,II
4) Synapses I,II
5) Glia and more
6) Excitability
7) Circuits underlying Emotion
8) Visual System
9) Auditory & Vestibular System
10) Somatosensory and Motor Systems
11) Learning in artificial and biological neural networks
Prerequisites / NoticeFor doctoral students of the Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ).
402-0620-00LCurrent Topics in Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and Its ApplicatonsE-0 credits1SM. Christl, S. Willett
AbstractThe seminar is aimed at all students who, during their studies, are confronted with age determination methods based on long-living radionuclides found in nature. Basic methodology, the latest developments, and special examples from a wide range of applications will be discussed.
ObjectiveThe seminar provides the participants an overview about newest trends and developments of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and related applications. In their talks and subsequent discussions the participants learn intensively about the newest trends in the field of AMS thus attaining a broad knowledge on both, the physical principles and the applications of AMS, which goes far beyond the horizon of their own studies.
402-0897-00LIntroduction to String TheoryW6 credits2V + 1UM. Gaberdiel
AbstractThis course is an introduction to string theory. It will mainly concentrate on the bosonic string and its quantisation in flat space.
ObjectiveThe objective of this course is to motivate the subject of string theory, exploring the important role it has played in the development of modern theoretical and mathematical physics. The goal of the course is to give a pedagogical introduction to the bosonic string in flat space.
ContentI. Introduction
II. The classical relativistic string
III. Light-cone quantisation
IV. Covariant quantisation
V. Closed strings and T-duality
VI. String interactions
LiteratureLecture notes:

String Theory - D. Tong

Lectures on String Theory - G. Arutyunov


Superstring Theory - M. Green, J. Schwarz and E. Witten (two volumes, CUP, 1988)
Volume 1: Introduction
Volume 2: Loop Amplitudes, Anomalies and Phenomenology

String Theory - J. Polchinski (two volumes, CUP, 1998)
Volume 1: An Introduction to the Bosonic String
Volume 2: Superstring Theory and Beyond
Errata: Link

Basic Concepts of String Theory - R. Blumenhagen, D. Lüst and S. Theisen (Springer-Verlag, 2013)

A First Course in String Theory - B. Zwiebach (CUP, 2009)
402-0393-00LTheoretical Cosmology and Different Aspects of Gravity
Does not take place this semester.
W8 credits4VL. Heisenberg
AbstractThese lecture series will be dedicated to different advanced topics within the framework of theoretical cosmology and gravity. A detailed introduction into the successful construction of General Relativity and beyond will be given, together with their cosmological implications.
ObjectiveThese lecture series will discuss different advanced topics within the framework of theoretical cosmology and gravity. First of all, I will give a detailed introduction into the successful construction of General Relativity from a geometrical perspective.
After constructing our geometrical setup I will discuss the most general space-time geometries and their different manifestations. This will also allow me to introduce the geometrical trinity of gravity, in which the same theory of General Relativity can be constructed a la Einstein based on curvature, a la TEGR based on torsion and a la CGR based on non-metricity, which represents a simpler formulation of General Relativity. Starting from the defining key properties of General Relativity I will explain in which consistent ways these properties can be altered. Still following the geometrical interpretation of gravity this will allow me to introduce modifications of gravity based on affine structure.
In the second part I will abandon the geometrical framework and adapt to the field theory perspective. In this context I will construct General Relativity as the unique fundamental theory for a massless spin-2 field. This means that any modification of gravity will ultimately introduce additional degrees of freedom in the gravity sector. After discussing the building blocks of field theories, I will introduce massive gravity, Horndeski scalar-tensor theories, generalized Proca theories and scalar-vector-tensor theories.
Based on the assumption that General Relativity is the underlying theory of gravity I will introduce the standard model of cosmology and discuss the tenacious challenges we are facing within this framework. We will study the FLRW models relevant for inflation and late-time universe at the background level and consider small cosmological perturbations together with their evolution. We will see how we can use different observational channels and theoretical consistency checks in order to critically assess different gravity theories. In this context we will pay special attention to the implications of gravitational waves measurements for generalizations of gravity theory beyond General Relativity. Using specialized Mathematica packages some of the relevant relations and computations will be illustrated as well.
LiteratureThe lecture follows the review „A systematic approach to generalizations of General Relativity and their cosmological implications“ by L. Heisenberg, Physics Reports 796 (2019) 1-113, arXiv:1807.01725
402-0465-58LIntersubband OptoelectronicsW6 credits2V + 1UG. Scalari
AbstractIntersubband transitions in quantum wells are transitions between states created by quantum confinement in ultra-thin layers of semiconductors. Because of its inherent taylorability, this system can be seen as the "ultimate quantum designer's material".
ObjectiveThe goal of this lecture is to explore both the rich physics as well as the application of these system for sources and detectors. In fact, devices based on intersubband transitions are now unlocking large area of the electromagnetic spectrum.
ContentThe lecture will treat the following chapters:
- Introduction: intersubband optoelectronics as an example of quantum engineering
-Technological aspects
- Electronic states in semiconductor quantum wells
- Intersubband absorption and scattering processes
- Mid-Ir and THz ISB Detectors
-Mid-infrared and THz photonics: waveguides, resonators, metamaterials
- Quantum Cascade lasers:
-Mid-IR QCLs
-THZ QCLs (direct and non-linear generation)
-further electronic confinement: interlevel Qdot transitions and magnetic field effects
-Strong light-matter coupling in Mid-IR and THz range
Lecture notesThe reference book for the lecture is "Quantum Cascade Lasers" by Jerome Faist , published by Oxford University Press.
LiteratureMostly the original articles, other useful reading can be found in:

-E. Rosencher and B. Vinter, Optoelectronics , Cambridge Univ. Press
-G. Bastard, Wave mechanics applied to semiconductor heterostructures, Halsted press
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: A basic knowledge of solid-state physics and of quantum electronics.
402-0447-00LQuantum Science with Superconducting CircuitsW6 credits2V + 1UC. Eichler
AbstractSuperconducting Circuits provide a versatile experimental platform to explore the most intriguing quantum-physical phenomena and constitute one of the prime contenders to build quantum computers. Students will get a thorough introduction to the underlying physical concepts, the experimental setting, and the state-of-the-art of quantum computing in this emerging research field.
ObjectiveBased on today’s most advanced solid state platform for quantum control, the students will learn how to engineer quantum coherent devices and how to use them to process quantum information. The students will acquire both analytical and numerical methods to model the properties and phenomena observed in these systems. The course is positioned at the intersection between quantum physics and engineering.
ContentIntroduction to Quantum information Processing -- Superconducting Qubits -- Quantum Measurements -- Experimental Setup & Noise Mitigation -- Open Quantum Systems -- Multi-Qubit Systems: Entangling gates & Characterization -- Quantum Error Correction -- Near-term Applications of Quantum Computers
Prerequisites / NoticeAll students and researchers with a general interest in quantum information science, quantum optics, and quantum engineering are welcome to this course. Basic knowledge of quantum physics is a plus, but not a strict requirement for the successful participation in this course.
402-0845-80LScattering Amplitudes in Quantum Field Theories
Special Students UZH must book the module PHY577 directly at UZH.
W6 credits2V + 1UV. Del Duca
AbstractThis course provides a pedagogical introduction to an advanced topic in Quantum Field Theories, which has undergone a tremendous progress in the new millennium: scattering amplitudes and on-shell methods.
ObjectiveStudents that complete the course will be able to understand the basics of the modern methods to compute scattering amplitudes, to perform simple calculations and to read modern publications on this research field.
ContentThis course covers the basic concepts of:
-- spinor helicity formalism
-- colour decompositions
-- BCFW on-shell recursion relations
-- BCJ colour-kinematics duality
-- Feynman integrals: IBPs and differential equations
-- analytic and algebraic structure of loop-level amplitudes:
* Hopf algebras, symbols and coproducts
* multiple polylogarithms (a.k.a. as iterated integrals on the Riemann sphere)
* Steinmann relations
* coaction principle
* elliptic and modular-form integrals (a.k.a. as iterated integrals on the torus)
Lecture notesWill be provided at the Moodle site for the course.
LiteratureWill be provided at the Moodle site for the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeA basic knowledge of Feynman rules in scalar field theories and in Yang-Mills theory is assumed.

QFT-I and Introduction to Quantum ChromoDynamics are highly recommended.
402-0831-67LAdvanced Topics of General Relativity and Gravitational Waves (University of Zurich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: PHY529

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W6 credits2V + 1UP. Jetzer
ContentPossible content:
- General relativistic stellar structure equations (Neutron stars)
- Tetrad formalism
- Spinors in GR
- Klein-Gordon & Dirac eqs. in GR
- Thermodynamics of black holes and Hawking radiation
- Topics in gravitational waves: GW generation by PN sources, GW from elliptic, hyperbolic binaries
- Tests of the equivalence principle
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