Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Alexis Bishop



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit provides part of a major in experimental physics. It consists of four 6-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, phonons, electronic properties of semiconductors, superconductivity, superfluidity, low dimensional materials, quasi-periodic and amorphous solids.
  2. Scattering and Spectroscopy: principles of magnetic resonance, Mossbauer, IR and Raman, XPS and X-ray absorption spectroscopies, fundamentals of diffraction theory, diffraction from crystals and amorphous materials, scattering of neutrons, x-rays and synchrotron radiation.
  3. Laboratory work: experimental laboratory work on relevant topics.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Scattering Theory, which involves light and matter waves, and the scattering of photons, neutrons and electrons;
  2. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Spectroscopy, which include interactions of photons and particles with matter, absorption and scattering cross-sections, elastic and inelastic scattering;
  3. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Condensed Matter Physics, which involve crystal structures in 1D, 2D and 3D, quasicrystals, phonons, metals, nanomaterials, superfluidity and superconductivity;
  4. Perform measurements and analysis on experiments that demonstrate the theoretical physics described in this and other physics units;
  5. Produce experimental reports that present results, analyse and discuss the implications and outcomes of experimental work.


Examination (3 hours): 46%
Laboratory work: 34%
Assignments: 20%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week
  • An average of two hours in the laboratory per week
  • Seven hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PHS2011 or PHS2061, and PHS2022 or PHS2062, and MTH2032, and either MTH2010 or MTH2015. Recommended: PHS2081.