CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS: THE GOLDILOCKS SCIENCE
Since the focus in Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) is on energies, sizes, and time scales that are not extremely big or extremely small, but somewhere we loosely call the “middle”, it is an area of science that reminds us of Goldilocks who said, "Ahhh, this porridge is just right," and she happily ate it all up. It can be argued that because of its “Goldilocks nature”, CMP has many links to other branches of physics and more generally other areas of science and engineering.
Because the domain of CMP is very broad, it has both an applied and a fundamental physics component. I will focus mainly on the latter with emphasis on this field’s intellectual and conceptual contributions to science. I plan to describe some research involving semiconductors, superconductors, and nanoscience. I’ll begin by briefly discussing the development of these areas over the past hundred years, and then I’ll discuss some current achievements and discoveries. I’ll also relay a few observations about Einstein and his seminal research in this field. However I should add that Einstein suggested that we might never have a theoretical explanation of superconductivity, but Einstein was not always right.