- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2014

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Physics of Matter (PHYS08054)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is designed for pre-honours physics students. It provides an introduction to the properties of matter. The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Physics of Fields and Matter (PHYS08046)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 12/01/2015
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 54 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Physics of Matter2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)Physics of Matter2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course it is intended that student will be able to:
- State the basic principles of electromagnetism and condensed matter physics
- Apply these principles in conjunction with elementary mathematical techniques to solve simple problems in electromagnetism and condensed matter physics
- Present a solution to a physics problem in a clear and logical written form
- Assess whether a solution to a given problem is physically reasonable
- Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers where appropriate) to facilitate independent problem-solving
- Take responsibility for learning by attending lectures and workshops, and completing coursework
Assessment Information
80% exam 20% coursework
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus - Basic concepts. Phases; equation of state; P-V-T surface and projections. (1)
- Elementary thermal physics. Origin of phase transitions; basic thermodynamics: equilibrium (0th law); contributions to the internal energy (1st law), heat capacities and latent heat; brief mention of free energy; entropy and its statistical interpretation (2nd law). (2)
- Ideal gases. Kinetic theory; Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distributions; sedimentation/barometric height distribution; degrees of freedom and equipartition theorem. (3)
- Non-ideal gases. Lennard-Jones type interaction; van der Waals approach; instability in PV isotherms; appearance of the liquid below Tc; phase coexistence and critical phenomena. (2)
- Liquid phase. Radial distribution function; vapour pressure; surface tension. (1)
- Flow and transport phenomena. Bernoulli's equation; viscosity; Reynolds number; thermal and electrical conductivity. (2)
- Crystalline phase. Bonding types; types of order; unit cells and basis; symmetry; centring; Miller indices; crystal planes, Bragg's law; reciprocal space, Fourier analysis, Structure Factor, scattering of electrons, neutrons and X-rays; electronic band structure. (4)
- Semiconductors. Doping. p-n junctions. Transistors. (1)
- Noncrystalline solids. Amorphous solids and glasses. (1)
- Elasticity and deformations. Young's modulus; sound waves; bulk modulus; shear stress and dislocations; cracking. (2)
- Other phases of matter. Liquid crystals. Magnetic materials. (1)
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list D Tabor, "Gases, Liquids and Solids", Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Will Hossack
Tel: (0131 6)50 5261
Course secretaryMrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 29 August 2014 4:37 am