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PH4039   Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 11.00 am Wed, Fri, 2.00 pm Fri

This module explores how the various thermal and electrical properties of solids are related to the nature and arrangement of their constituent atoms. For simplicity, emphasis is given to crystalline solids. The module covers: the quantum-mechanical description of electron motion in crystals; the origin of band gaps and insulating behaviour; the reciprocal lattice and the Brillouin zone, and their relationships to X-ray scattering measurements; the band structures and Fermi surfaces of simple tight-binding models; the Einstein and Debye models of phonons, and their thermodynamic properties; low-temperature transport properties of insulators and metals, including the Drude model; the physics of semiconductors, including doping and gating; the effect of electron-electron interactions, including a qualitative account of Mott insulators; examples of the fundamental theory applied to typical solids.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH3081 or pass PH3082 or ( pass MT2506 and pass MT2507 ) and ( pass PH3061 or pass CH3712 )

Co-requisite(s): You must also take PH3061 or take PH3082 or take PH3081

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures or tutorials

Scheduled learning hours: 34

Guided independent study hours: 116

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 80%, Coursework = 20%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 80%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 20%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module teaching staff: Dr C Hooley

Additional information from school

Please see also the information in the School¿s Handbook for Honours modules available via This link also gives access to timetables for the modules.