Properties of Matter - PHYS0026

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 3 15 (7.5) Christopher Lynch checkmark-circle


This module will cover the following topics:

• Simple model of nuclear atom. Atomic number and mass. The periodic table. The mole and Avogadro's number. Solids, liquids and gases. Interatomic forces. Excitation and ionization. The electron volt.
• Spectra and energy levels. E = hf. Relation of spectra to transitions between energy levels. Bohr atom quantitatively. Photoelectric effect. Crystalline lattices. Amorphous materials. X-ray diffraction. Polymers and plastics.
• Gases, liquids and solids. Pressure. Archimedes principle. Hydrostatics. Heat and temperature scales. Thermometers. Latent heat. Thermal expansion. Perfect gas laws.
• Thermal equilibrium and temperature. Thermal conduction. Radiation laws. Kinetic theory of gases.
• Introduction to radioactivity.


Contact hours

Private Study: 125
Contact Hours: 25
Total: 150


Not available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

• Moodle Quiz 1 (1 hour) – 15%
• Moodle Quiz 2 (1 hour) – 15%
• Examination (2 hours) – 70%

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Physical laws and principles, and their application to diverse areas of physics (this will include laws of motion, electromagnetism, wave phenomena and the properties of matter), with modules covering the necessary mathematics.
2. Identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
3. Solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
4. Use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour.
5. Present and interpret information graphically.
6. Make use of appropriate texts, or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning in diverse areas of physics.


  1. Credit level 3. Foundation level module taken in preparation for a 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.
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