Solid State Physics - PH606

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR E Pugh checkmark-circle


To provide an introduction to solid state physics. To provide foundations for the further study of materials and condensed matter, and details of solid state electronic and opto-electronic devices.

  • Interaction potential for atoms and ions. Definitions, crystal types. Miller indices. reciprocal lattice. Diffraction methods.
    Dynamics of Vibrations
  • Lattice dynamics, phonon dispersion curves, experimental techniques.
  • Electrons in k-space: metals
  • Free electron theory of metals. Density of states. Fermi-Dirac distribution. Band theory of solids - Bloch's theorem. Distinction between metals and insulators. electrical conductivity according to classical and quantum theory. Hall effect.
  • Semiconductors
  • Band structure of ideal semiconductor. Density of states and electronic/hole densities in conduction/valence band. Intrinsic carrier density. Doped semiconductors..
  • Definitions of dia, para, ferromagnetism. magnetic moments. General treatment of paramagnetism, Curie's law. Introduction to ferromagnetism.


    This module appears in the following module collections.

    Contact hours

    27 hours lectures and workshop/revision sessions.
    This module is expected to occupy 150 total study hours, including the contact hours above.


    This is not available as a wild module.

    Method of assessment

    Examination 70%, Coursework 30% (including class tests and/or Moodle tests).

    Indicative reading

    Recommended Text:

  • Hook & Hall, Solid State Physics, Wiley [QC176]
    Additional texts:
  • Kittel, Solid State Physics (7th Ed), Wiley, 1996 [QC176]
  • Ashcroft & Mermin, Solid State Physics, Holt-Saunders [QC176]

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles in Solid State Physics, and their application to diverse areas of physics.
  • An ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems in Solid State Physics, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
  • An ability to solve problems in Solid State Physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
  • An ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour in Solid State Physics.
  • An ability to present and interpret information graphically.
  • An ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.
  • Problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
  • Analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.


    1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
    Back to top

    University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.