School of Science

Magnetism and superconductivity

This course is part of the programme:
Material Science

Objectives and competences

Students will be introduced to magnetism and superconductivity, that are collective phenomena which cannot be described by a one-electron model.

During the course lectures about the experimental aspects and standard models for the description of magnetism and superconductivity will be given. The developments in magnetism research and magnetic materials associated with spin-based electronics or “spintronics” will be presented.

About 2/3 of the time will be devoted to magnetism and 1/3 to superconductivity.


Solid state physics and Statistical mechanics.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Introduction to magnetism

  • The origin of magnetic moment

  • Paramagnetism of free ions

  • The magnetically ordered state

  • Crystal fields

  • Diamagnetism

  • Itinerant electron magnetism

  • Measurements techniques

  • Magnetic materials


  • Empirical facts about superconductivity

  • Type I and type II superconductors

  • London equations

  • The Ginzburg-Landau theory

  • BCS theory

  • Josephson effect

    Unconventional superconductors

  • Intended learning outcomes

    Students will acquire knowledge about the physics of magnets and superconductors and an appreciation of the physics due to correlated electrons.


    1. K. H. J. Buschow and F. R. de Boer, Physics of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Kluwer Academic Publishers (2004)

    2. J. Stohr and H.C. Siegmann, Magnetism, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (2006)

    3. L. P. Lévy: Magnetism and superconductivity, Springer (2000)

    4. Neil W. Ashcroft, N. David Mermin, Solid state physics, Saunders College Publishing (1976)


    Seminar, oral exam

    Lecturer's references

    Barbara Ressel is Assistant professor of Physics at the University of Nova Gorica.

    Selected references:

    1. GRAZIOLI, C., GAUTHIER, David, IVANOV, R., BUČAR, Bojan, MERHAR, Miran, RESSEL, Barbara, DE NINNO, Giovanni, et al. CITIUS : an infrared-extreme ultraviolet light source for fundamental and applied ultrafast science. Review of scientific instruments, ISSN 0034-6748, 2014, vol. 85, no. 2, str. 023104-1-023104-6, doi: 10.1063/1.4864298. [COBISS.SI-ID 3223291]

    2. CREPALDI, A., RESSEL, Barbara, et al. Evidence of reduced surface electron-phonon scattering in the conduction band of Bi [sub] 2 Se [sub] 3 by nonequilibrium ARPES. Physical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics, ISSN 1098-0121, 2013, vol. 88, no. 12, str. 121404-1-121404-5, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.88.121404. [COBISS.SI-ID 2876667]

    3. CREPALDI, A., RESSEL, Barbara, CILENTO, F., ZACCHIGNA, M., GRAZIOLI, C., BERGER, H.,BUGNON, Ph., KERN, K., GRIONI, M., PARMIGIANI, Fulvio. Ultrafast photodoping and effective Fermi-Dirac distribution of the Dirac particles in Bi [sub] 2 Se [sub] 3. Physical review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics, ISSN 1098-0121, 2012, vol. 86, no. 20, str. 205133-1-205133-5, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.86.205133. [COBISS.SI-ID2620155]

    University course code: (2FTS12)

    Year of study: 1

    Semester: 2

    Course principal:


    ECTS: 9


    • Lectures: 30 hours
    • Exercises: 30 hours
    • Seminar: 120 hours

    Course type: mandatory

    Languages: slovenian / english

    Learning and teaching methods:
    lectures, seminar