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PHS3042 - Fundamentals of solid-state physics

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Imants Svalbe


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit provides part of a major in experimental physics. It consists of two 12-lecture sub-units, and laboratory work. Key areas are:

  1. Condensed Matter Physics: crystal structure, reciprocal lattice, phonons, conductors, semiconductors, insulators, superconductivity;
  2. Scattering and Spectroscopy: diffraction from crystals, scattering of neutrons, x-rays and electrons, optical and microwave spectroscopy and laboratory work: experimental and/or computational laboratory work on relevant topics.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to understand the fundamental concepts used to describe crystal structure, the properties of solids and the characterisation of solids through diffraction and other spectroscopic techniques, as well as having an understanding of the properties of electron in low dimensional solids. They will be able to identify and apply theoretical relationships that quantify solid state properties, and perform a series of measurements in experiments related to the above topics. They will be able to write up experimental reports, including presentation of results, analysis and discussion of outcomes.


Examinations (2 x 1.5 hours): 48%
Laboratory work: 34%
Assignments: 18%

Contact hours

An average of 2 hours lectures, 1.5 hours tutorial/workshop and 2.5 hours of laboratory work per week


PHS2011, PHS2022, MTH2010, MTH2032