PX38515 Condensed Matter Physics
Introductory description
Condensed matter is matter in which particles have come together to form solids or fluids or (in nuclei and some stars) nuclear matter. These are systems with large numbers of particles interacting with each other. Of course we can't solve the full equations of motion for all these particles. Instead we construct and solve quantum and statistical mechanical models of their behaviour and test the predictions they make against experiment. In other words, we do physics.
The module covers models of the energy levels of the electrons and ions in crystals, how these explain some of the materials' properties and how we measure them. One interesting aspect we will touch on is the role of collective excitations (where large numbers of the particles act in "unison"). These are behind such phenomena as magnetic ordering, superconductivity and the quantized Hall resistance observed in 2D semiconductors.
Module aims
To provide an understanding of phenomena in condensed matter, both from an experimental and theoretical perspective.
Outline syllabus
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

How materials behave.
Types of bonding (ionic, covalent etc.); the periodic table; one dimensional models of solids;
crystal structures, defects & disorder; thermal vibrations; how to measure crystal structure. 
Free electrons.
Free electron model; ground state, Fermi energy, transport properties; WiedemannFranz law;
Peltier effect; where this breaks down. 
Band structure.
Nearly free electron model: the effect of a periodic potential; Bloch’s theorem; scattering; band
gaps; metal, insulator or semiconductor; density of levels; tight binding model. Moving beyond
1D: Brillouin zones and Fermi surfaces; real metals; electrons in magnetic fields; how to measure
the Fermi surface, and it is important (de Haas van Alphen, cyclotron resonance, etc.) 
Semiconductors in more detail.
Effective mass; impurities in semiconductors; holes; designing band gaps; Hall effect; pn
junctions; other applications, such as LEDs, lasers, solar cells. 
Magnetism & magnetic order.
Origins of magnetic behaviour; paramagnetism and magnetic resonance measurements;
diamagnetism; magnetic ordering such as ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism;
Curie temperature; domains, hysteresis; applications  magnetic memory, refrigeration, single
molecule magnets & quantum computation… 
Other Topics.
Superconductivity; low dimensional systems (2DEG, quantum Hall effect, quasi1D and 2D
systems); insulators; glasses.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
 Describe the quantum and statistical mechanics of condensed matter
 Solve quantum and statistical mechanical models to determine properties of condensed matter systems
 Discuss the role of the microscopic structure in determining the properties of macroscopic samples
 Explain magnetic and conductivity phenomena, and how to measure these experimentally
Indicative reading list
The Oxford Solid State Basics, Steven H Simon, OUP 2013
View reading list on Talis Aspire
Subject specific skills
Knowledge of mathematics and physics. Skills in modelling, reasoning, thinking.
Transferable skills
Analytical, communication, problemsolving, selfstudy
Study time
Type  Required 

Lectures  30 sessions of 1 hour (20%) 
Private study  120 hours (80%) 
Total  150 hours 
Private study description
Working through lecture notes, solving problems, wider reading, discussing with others taking the module, revising for exam, practising on past exam papers
Costs
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Assessment group B1
Weighting  Study time  

3 hour online examination (April)  100%  
Answer 3 questions from 4

Feedback on assessment
Personal tutor, group feedback
Courses
This module is Option list A for:
 Year 3 of UPXAF304 Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys)
 Year 3 of UPXAF300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
 Year 3 of UPXAF303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)
 Year 4 of UPXAF301 Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year)
This module is Option list B for:
 Year 3 of UPXAFG33 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys)
 Year 3 of UPXAGF13 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc)
 Year 3 of UPXAFG31 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
 Year 4 of UPXAGF14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year)
 Year 3 of UPXAF304 Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys)
 Year 3 of UPXAF303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)