School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

Faculty of Natural Sciences

For academic year: 2024/25 Last Updated: 11 September 2024

PHY-20026 - Statistical Mechanics and Solid State Physics

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Successful completion of FHEQ Level 4 Physics or Astrophysics

OR

Registration on FHEQ Level 5 of a degree programme in physics or astrophysics

OR

Registration on FHEQ Level 5 of a degree programme in physics or astrophysics

None

You will be introduced to lattice vibrations, the determination of crystalline structure, and the techniques for describing the properties of large ensembles of particles. You will study the mathematical descriptions of particles and states including Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics. The applications of these to the thermal, electrical and magnetic properties of solids will be covered.

This module aims to introduce the students to statistical mechanics and to solid-state physics and to give them the skills and understanding to solve problems and make applications in these areas. Solid-state physics is a fundamental science underpinning much of the modern world, from materials engineering to the central processing units that form the heart of all computers. Statistical mechanics is the method used to propagate our understanding of microscopic and atomic phenomena to the human scale, and is required to explain many concepts in solid-state physics.

http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/phy-20026/lists

describe the importance of and calculate the effects of lattice vibrations in determining the properties of solids: 1,2

explain the classical and quantum models for free electrons in solids: 1,2

explain the origin of energy bands in solids: 1,2

explain the origin of the magnetic properties of solids: 1,2

describe the statistical treatment of large ensembles of particles: 1,2

apply the Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions to the properties of solids: 1,2

use appropriate mathematical techniques to solve physical problems: 1,2,3

explain crystal structure and calculate properties of solids using the mathematical description of lattices.: 1,2,3

explain the classical and quantum models for free electrons in solids: 1,2

explain the origin of energy bands in solids: 1,2

explain the origin of the magnetic properties of solids: 1,2

describe the statistical treatment of large ensembles of particles: 1,2

apply the Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions to the properties of solids: 1,2

use appropriate mathematical techniques to solve physical problems: 1,2,3

explain crystal structure and calculate properties of solids using the mathematical description of lattices.: 1,2,3

Active Learning Hours:

32 hours of lectures

15.5 hours problem classes

2.5 hour unseen examination on Solid State Physics and Statistical Mechanics

1 hour unseen class test on Mathematics

Independent Study Hours:

20 hours on solving problem sheets

79 hours examination revision/preparation and private study

32 hours of lectures

15.5 hours problem classes

2.5 hour unseen examination on Solid State Physics and Statistical Mechanics

1 hour unseen class test on Mathematics

Independent Study Hours:

20 hours on solving problem sheets

79 hours examination revision/preparation and private study

None

Unseen written examination

A 2.5-hour exam worth 100 marks consisting of compulsory short questions and long questions with a degree of choice.

Problem sheets

Students complete a number of problem sheets. Equivalent to ~1000 words.

1-hour class test on Mathematics

1-hour class test on Mathematical material.