NFYA04021U Condensed Matter Physics 1 (CMP1)

Volume 2015/2016

BSc Programme in Nanoscience

BSc Programme in Physics


The aim of the course is to give an introduction to the properties of solids and a basic understanding of why solids are either metals, semiconductors or insulators.

We will discuss crystal structures and reciprocal space, phonons and thermal properties, electron Fermi gases and energy band structures, properties of semiconductors and the basic principles of semiconductors devices like diodes and transistors, and if time allows superconductivity and magnetism. Examples from nano technology will be given. Emphasis will also be put on modern experimental tools and how they can be used to investigate the properties of solids. The course will be an interactive mix between lectures, exercises, demonstration experiments, and discussions of exciting new key results from literature in which the student is expected actively to take part. The course will be a pre-requisite for some of the more advanced courses in solid state physics and nano technology.

Learning Outcome

It is expected from the student that he or she is able to:

  • Describe simple cubic and hexagonal crystal structures including the diamond and zincblende lattice, to calculate their reciprocal lattices and discuss the relation to diffraction of electrons, x-rays and neutrons. The student also should be able to define and calculate the structure factors for simple systems.
  • Describe various types of binding
  • To discuss the importance of lattice vibrations and its description via the concept of phonons and show why electron do not contribute the specific heat, but only to the conductivity of heat.
  • To describe the electrical properties of simple metals on the basis of the free electron gas model.
  • To derive models for the electronic band structure of solids and from the band structure be able to explain the difference between insulators, metals and semiconductors
  • To be able to describe the electronic properties of semiconductors and how these could be modified.
  • To describe how simple electronic components like diode and transistors work.

The student should be able to understand and describe the fundamental properties of solids. A very important component in this is to understand how atoms and molecules are arranged in crystal lattices and to understand the concept the reciprocal lattices. The reciprocal lattice or ‘k-space’ is not only the basis for the description of diffraction but also for phonons and electronic structure.

The course will give the student the basic knowledge and tools that will enable him/her to understand and describe the fundamental properties of solids.

To be announced

Quantum mechanics (KM2) and statistical physics (StatFys)
Lectures and exercises
Restricted elective for specialisations "Quantum Physics" and "Physics"
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 0,33
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Preparation
  • 127,67
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206,00
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
No preparation time
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assesment

The grade 12 is given to the excellent students that have the overview to in a convincing way to describe the basic properties of solids including the concept of reciprocal lattice and in detail derive the basic formulas, concepts and equations. Finally the excellent students should be able to know the orders of magnitude for the fundamental properties like lattice constant, specific heat, binding energies, etc.