Over the years I've written quite a few posts that try to explain physics concepts relevant to condensed matter/nano topics. I've thought about compiling some edited (more likely completely rewritten) version of these as a primer for science journalists. Here are the originals, collected together in one meta-post, since many current readers likely never saw them the first time around.
What is temperature?
What is chemical potential?
What is mass?
What are quasiparticles?
What is effective mass?
What is a phonon?
What is a plasmon?
What are magnons?
What are skyrmions?
What are excitons?
What is quantum coherence?
What are universal conductance fluctuations?
What is a metal?
What is a bad metal? What is a strange metal?
What are liquid crystals?
What is a phase of matter?
About phase transitions....
(effectively) What is mean-field theory?
About reciprocal space.... About spatial periodicity.
What is band theory?
What is a crystal?
What is a time crystal?
What is spin-orbit coupling?
About graphene, and more about graphene
About noise, part one, part two (thermal noise), part three (shot noise), part four (1/f noise)
What is inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy?
What is demagnetization cooling?
What is a functional? (see also this)
What is density functional theory? Part 2 Part 3
What are the Kramers-Kronig relations?
What is a metamaterial?
What is a metasurface?
What is the Casimir effect?
About exponential decay laws
About Fermi's Golden Rule