Condensed Matter Physics I
Instructor: D. Crandles
Brock Undergraduate Calendar Description:
Crystal structures and crystal binding; the vibration of atoms in solids and the thermodynamics of solids; introduction to transport properties of solids.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 3P41 and 3P70
Course goals:

Condensed Matter is an enormous subject, the outline of which can only be sketched in a one-semester introduction. One distinction is between soft condensed matter (biological membranes, polymers) and "hard" condensed matter (or solid state physics). PHYS 4P70 will focus on solid state physics. Our main goal will be to explain the same physical properties (structural, thermal, electrical) in each of the main classes of materials (metals, covalent compounds, ionic compounds, inert gas compounds). In this course you will review and use the four basic areas of physics (classical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory and statistical mechanics) to understand the solid state.

A second course goal, to be accomplished during the tutorials, will be an introduction to computer programming using python. Programming Assignments will explore some of the concepts of solid state physics.


The primary textbook is The Oxford Solid State Basics, Steven H. Simon, Oxford University Press (2013) . An electronic copy of this book is available in the library. The daily readings and homework assignments will come primarily from this book.

Other Books:

  • Introduction to Solid State Physics by Charles Kittel, 8th edn. Wiley: New York, 2005. (ON RESERVE)
  • Condensed Matter Physics, by Michael P. Marder , Wiley (2000) (ON RESERVE, plus Electronic Resource)
  • Solid State Physics by N.W. Ashcroft and N.D. Mermin
  • Solid State Physics: Essential Concepts, by David W. Snoke, Pearson, San Francisco, 2008 (Advanced)
  • Elementary Solid State Physics by M Ali Omar, Addison-Wesley Longman: Reading, 1993 ( Revised Edition).
  • (Note: The last three books are not in the library)

Marking scheme:

programming assignments(3): 30%

3 tests (during tutorial, approx end of september, october, november, TBA): 30%;

final exam: 40%

A student must achieve 50% in the final exam in order to pass the course

Late assignments will not be accepted unless approved by the instructor