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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Alexis Bishop


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: the concept of reciprocal space, the basic theory for the behaviour of electrons and phonons in solid crystalline materials, band theory and the Schrodinger equation, phonons, the Einstein model, electronic properties of semiconductors, carrier densities and Fermi levels, superconductivity;
  2. Scattering and Spectroscopy: fundamentals of diffraction theory, diffraction from crystals and amorphous materials, scattering of neutrons, x-rays and synchrotron radiation, principles of magnetic resonance Mossbauer, IR and Raman, XPS and X-ray absorption spectroscopies 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 condensed matter and the characterisation of crystals and amorphous materials through diffraction and other spectroscopic techniques, as well as having an understanding of the properties of electron in low dimensional materials. They will be able to identify and apply theoretical relationships that quantify condensed matter 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.


Examination (3 hours): 48%
Laboratory work: 34%
Assignments: 18%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Alexis Bishop

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