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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS10099)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course covers the properties of crystalline solids and other phases of condensed matter, building on Physics of [Fields and] Matter (PHYS08046/54) in Year 2. The focus is on developing an understanding of the structural, mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of solids and on gaining a sense for typical orders of magnitude of the relevant physical quantities. The concepts developed in this course will be illustrated with and applied to examples mostly from hard but also soft condensed matter physics. The overall aim is to give a firm grounding in the core concepts, which can be developed further and applied in SH/IM optional courses on condensed matter physics.
Course description Crystal Structures (Lectures 1&2)
- symmetry properties
- crystal systems & Bravais lattices
- crystal planes & Miller indices

Diffraction (L2-4)
- diffraction as a Fourier transform process
- structure factors and diffraction intensities
- atomic scattering factors
- systematic absences
- diffraction from crystalline and non-crystalline substances

Crystal Binding and Interactions (L4-6)
- van der Waals interaction
- crystal energetics
- van der Waals, ionic, metallic and covalent crystals

Phonons (L7-11)
- phonons as elementary excitations
- dispersion relations
- thermal properties of insulators: heat capacity, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion

Electrons in Solids (L11-15)
- free and nearly-free electron Fermi gas
- electronic band structures
- thermal and electrical properties of metals
- Fermi surfaces

Semiconductors (L16-18)
- band filling
- band gaps
- intrinsic semiconductors and doping
- electrical conductivity of semiconductors
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Physics of Fields and Matter (PHYS08046) OR Physics of Matter (PHYS08054)) AND Thermal Physics (PHYS09061)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Quantum Mechanics (PHYS09053) OR Principles of Quantum Mechanics (PHYS10094)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 50 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20% Coursework
80% Examination
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key concepts of CMP,
  2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of quantum effects in solids,
  3. solve problems in CMP in the realms of real and reciprocal space,
  4. interpret experimental data from measurements of condensed matter properties,
  5. demonstrate knowledge of typical orders of magnitude of physical quantities in CMP.
Reading List
Introduction to Solid State Physics, Charles Kittel, Wiley, 7th (1995) or later edition
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Ingo Loa
Tel: (0131 6)51 7212
Course secretaryMs Dipti Dineshwar
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