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

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.


After this course, the student will be able to

(1) be familiar with the basic ideas and tools of solid state physics, and be able to apply them in other fields;

(2) have developed an understanding of what types of matter exist in the solid state;

(3) be able to explain the physical origins which govern the properties of matter;

(4) be familiar with the basic experimental methods available to probe the structure of matter;

(5) be able to apply the knowledge gained in this course to understand a variety of applied problems in condensed matter and solid state physics;

(6) will be able to analyse problems in Solid State Physics using relevant mathematical tools.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  • attendance at lectures where material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  • attending 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.

Total Study Hours

96 hours. Eight (8) hours per week comprising online lectures, interactive online tutorials, and independent study.

Overview of Learning Resources

Physics for computer science students' by N Garcia will be used. This text is available free to RMIT students through the RMIT library and Springerlink. 

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.


On-going Assessment Task: Completion of problem sheets either individually or in groups provided in the weekly tutorials.

Weighting: 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

 Assignments: 3 take home written assignments.

Weighting: 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Tests: Two tests held in class on topics covered up to that point in the course.

Weighting: 50% (each test is worth 25%)

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

End of Year Exam: Exam on topics covered in the second half of the course.

Weighting: 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6