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PH20063: Condensed matter physics 1 [WL]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 85%, PR 15%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 85%)
  • Practical (PR 15%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: PH20063 - Mandatory Extra Work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PH10007 and take PH10008 and take PH10053 and take PH20067
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to introduce students to the basic ideas that underlie solid state physics, with emphasis on the behaviour of electrons in crystalline structures, particularly in materials that are metallic or semiconducting.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* apply knowledge of how crystalline structures vibrate and the associated theories of heat capacity;
* discuss why it is that classical theories fail and why electrons in solids have to be treated as quantum mechanical waves;
* explain the concept of density of states;
* describe how allowed and forbidden energy bands arise as a result of crystal potentials and how the properties of electrons in allowed energy bands determine the electrical and optical behaviour;
* appreciate the difference between metals, semiconductors and insulators;
* discuss the factors that control the electrical conductivity of metals and semiconductors;
* know the ways in which crystal structures are described formally and relate structures in real space to those in reciprocal space;
* describe how the diffraction of X-rays and of neutrons is related to the properties of the reciprocal lattice;
* conduct short experiments on various topics, record details of experimental method and results to an appropriate standard, and write a scientific report displaying an appropriate standard of presentation, style, structure, attention to detail and analysis.

Written Communication T/F A, Numeracy T/F A, Data Acquisition, Handling, and Analysis T/F A, Information Technology T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A, Working as part of a group T/F, Practical laboratory skills T/F A.

Crystal structures (5 hours): Translational symmetry; lattices and basis, Miller indices. Diffraction of waves in crystalline structures; Bragg law, the reciprocal lattice and Brillouin zones. X-ray and neutron diffraction studies of crystal structures.
Electrons in solids (7 hours): Classical Drude theory and its failures. The Hall effect. Quantum (Sommerfeld) theory. Density of states and the Fermi sphere. The effect of crystalline periodicity. Energy band diagrams and effective masses. The distinction between metals, semiconductors and insulators.
Semiconductors (3 hours): Holes. Basic properties of intrinsic semiconductors; H-model of doped semiconductors, donors and acceptors.
Magnetism (3 hours): Magnetic susceptibility. The origin of magnetic moments in solids. Classical models of diamagnetism and paramagnetism. Ferromagnetism and the exchange interaction.
Lattice dynamics (4 hours): Optical and acoustic vibrations. Phonons. Classical and quantum theories of heat capacity.
Laboratory: Performance of experiments designed further to develop practical skills and support lecture material.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH20063 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 2)
Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 2)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 2)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.