Welcome to the Institute for Theory of Condensed Matter

The institute was founded in 1976 and today comprises four groups. In close collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Materials and Technologies (IQMT) they conduct research on a wide range of topics in contemporary condensed matter physics. Close interactions, collaborations, and joint seminars exist with our partner institute, the Institute for Theoretical Solid State Physics (TFP)


Strongly correlated systems: unconventional superconductivity,quantum phase transitions, disordered systems, graphene
Decoherence, geometrical phases, superconductivity, Josephson circuits, quantum state engineering, spintronics
Quantum transport: disorder, interactions, metal-insulator transitions, quantum wires, quantum Hall systems, graphene, topological insulators and superconductors

Engineered quantum systems: superconducting circuits, electro- and optomechanical systems, nonreciprocity, quantum-limited amplification


Strongly correlated electron systems: spin and charge order, critical behavior,  quantum transport and superconductivity


Hydrotronics - EU-funded network for research on ultra-pure materials

The investigation of electronic hydrodynamics is a central research topic of researchers at our Institute. The emergence of hydrodynamic electronics can be seen in non-local, superballistic and pre-turbulent transport of energy and electric charge. There is a growing interest in the hydrodynamic effects in interacting electron systems in ultra-pure materials. The EU-funded  project HYDROTRONICS  is coordinated by researchers of our institute. It brings together researchers from seven countries and three continents that work on  hydrodynamic charge and energy transport in electronic systems.


Flow past a circular obastacle


Elasto-Q-Mat — DFG-funded Transregional Collaborative Research Center on Quantum Materials

Quantum materials are characterized by unusual physical properties. Elasto-Q-Mat, a Transregional Collaborative Research Center (SFB-TRR) in close cooperation between the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Goethe University Frankfurt, the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Max Planck Institute of Polymer Research in Mainz, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden will investigate quantum materials whose properties can be  dramatically changed through elastic deformations. 



Jörg Schmalian recieves Physik-Preis Dresden
Jörg Schmalian receives "Physik-Preis Dresden"

As an "outstanding theoretical condensed-matter physicist with strong connections to Dresden", Jörg Schmalian has been honoured with this year's "Physik-Preis Dresden". The prize is awarded jointly by the MPI-PKS und the Physics Department of the TUD to scientists whose excellent research has strengthened the collaboration between these two institutions. Congratulations!

Link to prize homepage
Workshop “Frontiers in physics of disordered and interacting quantum systems”

In celebration of Professor Alexander Mirlin's 60th birthday and his outstanding contributions to the field, the TKM and the IQMT are organising a workshop on disordered and interacting systems in condensed matter physics. It will take place at the physics department of the KIT South Campus on the 3rd and 4th of November 2022.

More information
Jörg Schmalian wins John Bardeen Prize

Jörg Schmalian is one of the recipients of the 2022 John Bardeen Prize. He is recognized for “impactful, materials-based theoretical insights into unconventional superconductors across the periodic table including organic superconductors, cuprates, and pnictides” and “pioneering work on the effect of intertwined order as well as on a beyond-quasi-particle description of normal states for unconventional superconductivity”. The prize is awarded once every three years on the occasion of the M2S (Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity) conference. The other winners are Mohit Randeria (The Ohio State University) and Peter Hirschfeld (University of Florida). Congratulations!

Link to prize homepage
Focus of Research ELASTO-Q-MAT

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the Transregional Collaborative Research Center Elastic Tuning and Response of Electronic Quantum Phases of Matter (ELASTO-Q-MAT) for the period July 2020 - June 2024. In cooperation with the Universities of Frankfurt and Mainz and Max Planck Institutes in Mainz and Dresden, quantum materials are investigated whose electronic properties are exceptionally sensitive to elastic deformations and strain. Open questions such as superelasticity, nematic order and fluctuations as well as critical elasticity in electronic quantum materials are being addressed. Jörg Schmalian from the Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and the Institute of Quantum Materials and Technologies (IQMT) is the local co-spokesperson of the initiative.

DFG Press Release
Julia Link is awarded a poster prize

At the conference "Recent Progress in Graphene & 2D Materials Research (RPGR 2017)" in Singapore Julia Link is awarded the "RSC Advances Poster Prize" for her poster with the title "Out-of-bounds hydrodynamics in anisotropic Dirac fluids". Congratulations!

Hooke's law violated

Jörg Schmalian explains the elastic properties of critical, strongly correlated systems in the journal for the members of the German Physical Society (Physik Journal 03/2017). In those systems there is no regime where the force is proportional to the displacement.


Outstanding Referee Award

The American Physical Society honors Igor Gornyi and Alexander Mirlin for their "outstanding service to the physics community".

More information
Weston Visiting Professorship

Alexander Mirlin receives a visiting professorship at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel.

Radio interview Jörg Schmalian

Jörg Schmalian answered the questions of high school students in an interview of the American radio station kdnk.


Link to interview
Hydrodynamics in Graphene

Alexander Mirlin and Jörg Schmalian describe in the journal for the members of the German Physical Society (Physik Journal 05/2016) under which circumstances hydrodynamic behavior occurs in the transport properties of Graphene.

PD Dr. Igor Gornyi is awarded an honorary title

The Russian Academy of Sciences confers the honorary title "Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences" to our colleague PD Dr. Igor Gornyi. Since the introduction in 2015, this title honors distinguished scientists with Russian citizenship that are younger than 50.

"Superconductivity: A Superlatively Difficult Puzzle"

Watch out for Prof. Jörg Schmalian's recent popular article on "How the Brightest Minds in Physics Failed to Explain a New State of Matter".

Article on ,,The SPS Observer"


Monday, 17/06/2024 14:00
Room 10.01. , Bldg. 30.23 CS
Thomas Schmidt

Quantum skyrmions in Heisenberg ferromagnets
Tuesday, 18/06/2024 12:30
Leander Zimmer

Light scattering by spheres made of time-varying materials