Course data
Course name: The Physics of Disordered Systems
Neptun ID: BMETE15MF53
Responsible teacher: Gergely Zaránd
Department: Department of Theoretical Physics
Programme: Courses for Physicist MSc students
Course data sheet: BMETE15MF53
Requirements, Informations

Physics of Disordered Systems

Time and location: Time: Fridays, 14:15-15:45;  Location: F3M1

Lecturers: János Török and Gergely Zaránd 

Lectures will be given in English, but questions can also be asked in Hungarian, and the language of the exam/problem set can also be chosen to be Hungarian. 

Goal: Disorder is present everywhere around us, and it leads to fascinating phenomena. This course is supposed to cover some of these subjects, including Anderson's localization theory, Coulomb glasses and spin glasses, hysteresis or percolation, Griffith phases, just to name a few.  

Prerequisites:  Quantum mechanics, intermediate level solid state physics, statistical physics. 

Subjects to be covered: 

Structural disorder:

Polimers, fractals, liquids, glasses, quasicrystals, amorphous metals, granular materials. Percolation. 

Disordered magnetic systems:

Hysteresis, memory effects, and  Preisach model. Domain wall motion: mean field theory,   Barkhausen noise. 

Disordered ferromagnets and Griffith phase. Frustrated spin systems and spin glasses: phyenomenology, Sherrington-Kirpatrick model, TAP equations. Replicas, and replica symmetry breaking. Dropplet theory. 

Localization theory: 

Disordered semiconductors and impurity bands. Locaization transition and Anderson's theory. The scaling theory of localization. The Coulomb glass. Crytical wave function and multifractal properties. Quantum Hall effect.

Quantum glasses: 

The Bose glass. Fisher scaling and the strong disorder fixed point.  



Students can get a mark in three different ways: 

  • by passing an oral exam,
  • by solving problem sets
  • or by writing (in English or in Hungarian) a term paper (i. e., a 10-15 pages written summary based upon some research paper, related to the course).

For the last two options (term paper / problem set), you must pass the "substantial presence test", i.e., cannot miss more than 3 lectures. Of course, to pass an oral exam, no substantial presence at the lectures is requested. Just come and try!

Moodle system: Moodle accounts will be created for each user. Moodle is available at Your username will be the same as your email name I used the one given to neptun or the last email I have got from most of you. In case of doubt ask me (torok72 at Use the "Forgotten your username or password?" option to generate and email new password. Please use moodle system to submit homework. Submit solved exercises by category as indicated in the system.

Subjects of oreal exam:  TO BE SPECIFIED

Problem set: problems2019.pdf

Term Papers: The term paper should be an approximately 15-20 (standard latex preprint) pages presentation on the subject. In the first half of it, you should review basic knowledge, and put the paper in contex,  introduce basic notions.  Here you should just include material that you learned at class. In the second part of your work, you should present what you understood from the paper(s) assigned. You do not need to understand everything but all what you present should be clear and thought through. You can also consult some of the references given in the papers, but do not try to read everything...  You can write the term paper in Hungarian or in English.

If you decide to write a term paper, you can pick one of the following papers: 

Lecture notes: 

Some supplemental material: 


Some literature (incomplete):