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PH20017: Condensed matter physics 1

[Page last updated: 20 April 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Physics
Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Period:
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before or while taking this module you must ( take PH20013 OR take PH20060 ) AND ( take PH20107 OR take MA20216 ) AND ( take PH20029 OR take PH20067 )
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.

Skills:
Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Content:
Crystal structures (4 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 (4 hours): Holes. Basic properties of intrinsic semiconductors; H-model of doped semiconductors, donors and acceptors; p-n junction.
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.

Programme availability:
NB. Postgraduate programme information will be added when the postgraduate catalogues are published in August 2021

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-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM12 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM14 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM15 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad and Research Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM13 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad and Research 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)

Notes:

  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change 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.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.