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PH20017: Condensed matter physics 1

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
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 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: PH20017 - Mandatory Extra Work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take PH10005 OR take PH10053 ) AND take PH10007 AND take PH10008 AND take PH20029
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to introduce students to the basic concepts and models of solid state physics, with an emphasis on crystalline, electronic and magnetic structure.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* know the ways in which crystal structures are described formally and relate structures in real space to those in reciprocal space;
* describe how X-ray and neutron diffraction is related to the properties of the reciprocal lattice, and used in structural studies;
* discuss why classical theories of electrons in solids fail, and why they have to be treated quantum mechanically;
* 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;
* describe classical theories of diamagnetism, paramagnetism, and the ferromagnetic properties of materials;
* describe how crystalline structures vibrate, and the associated theories of heat capacity.

Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving 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.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH20017 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Year long work placement (Year 2)

PH20017 is Optional on the following programmes:

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)
  • USPH-AFB09 : BSc Physics (Year 3)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* 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.