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

Course Coordinator: Professor Dougal McCulloch

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3391

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

No enforced requisites.

To succeed in this course, it is assumed that you have completed PHYS1074 Materials & Thermal 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

The aim of this course is to give you an extended knowledge of the principles and techniques of solid state physics.The course covers the physical understanding of matter from an atomic view point.  Topics covered include the structure, thermal and electrical properties of matter. Fundamental theories  in solid state physics are introduced and then extended to show the irrelevance to important applications in current -day technology, industry, and research. 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 successfully completing this course you will be able to:

  1. Explain the fundamental concepts of solid state physics such as what types of matter exist and the methods available to determine their structure and properties;
  2. Outline the physical origins which govern the properties of matter in the solid state;
  3. Apply the knowledge gained to solve 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 face to face lectures, tutorials, and independent study. 


Overview of Learning Resources

Extensive use will be made of lecture notes which will be provided to you. Lists of useful texts and other references will be made available under each topic covered.

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 1,2, 3, particularly CLO 3.

 Assignments: 3 take home written assignments.

Weighting: 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3

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, 2, 3.

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

Weighting: 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3