Course Title: Solid State Physics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Solid State Physics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Jim Partridge

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2865

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.7.4b

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

No enforced requisites.

To succeed in this course, it is assumed that you have completed PHYS2179 Materials Physics or have comparable knowledge and skills. It is also assumed that you have completed courses in mathematics at the second-year university level.

Course Description

This course presents principles and techniques of solid-state physics with a focus on electronics and magnetism/spintronics. Fundamental theories in solid state physics are introduced and then extended to show the relevance to current and next generation technology. The course has a theoretical lecture component and makes extensive use of examples and exercises to illustrate the material.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 Assessment will contribute to the School of Sciences Program Learning Outcomes at AQF Level 7:

  • PLO-1   Understanding science
    • PLO-1.1 You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.
  • PLO-2   Scientific knowledge
    • PLO-2.1 You will have broad knowledge in your chosen discipline, with deep knowledge in its core concepts.
  • PLO-3   Inquiry and Problem Solving
    • PLO-3.1 You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.
    • PLO-3.2 You will demonstrate well-developed problem solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively.
  • PLO-5   Personal and professional responsibility
    • PLO-5.1 You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work.


Course Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

(1) Describe the basic ideas and tools of solid-state physics, and be able to apply them in other fields;
(2) Explain the types of matter exist in the solid state;
(3) Explain the physical origins which govern the properties of condensed matter;
(4) Explorea variety of experimental methods available to probe the structure of condensed matter;
(5) Apply the knowledge gained in this course to understand a variety of applied problems in condensed matter and solid state physics;
(6) Analyse problems in solid state physics using relevant mathematical tools.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  • attendance at on-campus and/or online lectures where material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  • attending on-campus and/or online tutorials and working through problem sheets consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter;
  • private study, working through the theory as presented in lectures, texts and notes;
  • completing exercises designed to illustrate basic concepts in solid state physics and promote problem solving skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

A list of recommended text will be provided.

You will have access to extensive course materials made available via the online RMIT Learning Hub (myRMIT), including digitised readings, lecture notes and a detailed study program, external internet links and access to RMIT Library online and hardcopy resources. You can access course software through myDesktop.

Library Subject Guide for Physics

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment item 1: On-going problem based learning tasks
Weighting: 10 %
This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Assessment item 2: Written assignments
Weighting: 30 %
This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Assessment item 3 Laboratory Reports
Weighting: 30 %
This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Assessment item 4: End of semester in-class skills and competency assessment
Weighting: 30 %
This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6