Statistical and Solid State II

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Statistical and Solid State II

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Mathematics 1B, Physics 1B, Mathematics IIA, basic Quantum Mechanics.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This course builds on elementary knowledge of thermodynamics and classical and quantum mechanics to give an understanding of real substances, vital in the fields of nanoscience, nanotechnology, materials science and condensed matter (solid state) physics. The topics addressed are: relationship between microscopic structure and thermodynamic properties: microcanonical, canonical and grand ensembles; entropy; chemical potential; equipartition; Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics, ideal classical and quantal gases; paramagnetism; Einstein and Debye models of lattice specific heat; black body radiation; introduction to materials; crystal bonding; crystal lattices; reciprocal lattice; diffraction; thermal properties; electronic properties including basics of Band Theory.

    Course Introduction
    This Physics course aims to introduce students to the properties of the large collections of particles that form bulk matter, starting from a fundamental understanding of the physics of the individual particles as developed in the preceding Physics courses, as well as from an experimental point of view. This material falls in the areas traditionally known as Statistical Mechanics and Solid State / Condensed Matter Physics.

    The material developed in this course is vital in our understanding of many important materials and new technologies such as semiconductors, high-temperature superconductors, liquid crystals, nanostructures and the interiors of stars.

    Course Aims
    The first module of the course aims to develop concepts and skills in Statistical Mechanics, the fundamental area of physics that underlies the more phenomenological subject Thermodynamics. The specific aim here is analysis and prediction of thermal properties of substances, starting from a knowledge (or model) of the microscopic mechanical makeup of each substance. It is an essential study for anyone interested in physics or nanotechnology, and is also very valuable in chemistry. Increasingly, concepts of statistical mechanics are finding a place in biology and even economics.

    The second module of the course aims to continue this development by introducing the centrally important area of modern science known as Condensed Matter Physics (encompassing also Solid State Physics), which is itself the theoretical basis of Materials Science, one of the most important areas of modern technology. The specific aim is to develop an understanding of crystals (regular periodic arrays of atoms or molecules) and the special properties of crystalline matter in contrast to isolated atoms or molecules.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:

    1  Understand how the microscopic make-up of a substance influences its thermodynamic properties, with general implications in physics, chemistry, biology and engineering
    2  Apply the Microcanonical, Canonical and Grand Ensembles to the quantitative prediction sof thermodynamic properties such as energy, free energy, entropy, specific heat etc., given a model of the microscopic makeup of a substance. You should be able to do this both for quantal and classical levels of description, including a knowledge of Boltzmann, Bose and Fermi statistics.
    3  Understand and analyse crystal bonding, know the types of bonding in solids: covalent, ionic, electronic etc. Understand and quantitatively evaluate cohesive energy and Hooke's elastic constants within simple models of intermolecular force laws.
    4  Understand the following concepts and apply them to analysis of diffraction data from crystals: distance between atomic planes, Miller indices, reciprocal basis, reciprocal lattice vectors, diffraction by crystals, Bragg's law, scattering vector, form factor, structure factor, diffraction patterns, Brillouin zones.
    5  Understand the concept of phonons, and analyse their dispersion relation within simple models of interatomic force laws.
    6  Understand and apply simple models of the electronic properties of solids, including classification of conductors, Drude model of conduction in metals, the electron gas, Fermi surface, density of states, calculation of resistivity, dispersion relation, energy gap, bands.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.