Module – Condensed Matter Physics

FHEQ Level: Level 6 (Third Year)
Credits: 20
Module Code: tbc
Course Reference Number (CRN): 60832
Delivery: January Start, Trimester 2 (Short Fat)

Syllabus Outline

• Phonons and Free Electrons
• Phonons in a 1D Crystal
• Electrons in a 1D crystal – Covalent Bonding
• Metallic and Ionic Bonding
• Heat Capacity
• Crystal Lattices in Direct Space
• Crystal Lattices in Reciprocal Space
• Electrons in a Periodic Potential – The Origin of Band Gaps
• Semiconductors and Semiconductor Devices
• Dielectric Materials
• Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
• Superconductivity


Coursework: Assignment, 30%
Written: Examination, 3 hours, 70%
More detailed information may be found in the Assessments section.


The Oxford Solid State Basics, SH Simon (2013) Oxford

Introduction to Solid State Physics, C. Kittel (2004) Wiley

Further updates and supplementary texts may be found in the University Reading Lists system.


You will learn how the fundamental laws of physics determine the properties of solids and liquids. The physics behind semiconductors and devices, magnetism and superconductivity will be developed. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and problem solving tutorials.


1. To develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of Condensed Matter Physics including the origin and limitations of the associated laws.
2. To develop a knowledge and critical understanding of mathematical techniques associated with Condensed Matter Physics.
3. To develop analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the area of Condensed Matter Physics.

Knowledge & Understanding

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the laws and their origins in the area of Condensed Matter Physics.
2. Demonstrate competence in the specification of problems using the laws of Condensed Matter Physics and their analytical and numerical solution.
3. Demonstrate communication through written material.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

The module is taught through a combination of lectures and tutorial classes.

Interactive tutorial classes will prepare students for assessments through a series of problem-solving exercises with associated formative feedback.

Assignment – An extended problem-solving exercise requiring a description and justification of methodology used together with the use of analytical and computational means to provide final solutions and a critical evaluation of the solution obtained.

Exam – A series of questions demonstrating an understanding of the topic together with application to straightforward problems that can be solved using analytical means.