FY548: Solid state physics

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: Danish, but English if international students are enrolled
EKA: N500054102
Assessment: Second examiner: External
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Autumn
Level: Bachelor

STADS ID (UVA): N500054101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 19-01-2023

Duration: 1 semester

Version: Archive


The course is identical to the previous course with the title FY532 Physics of Condensed substances I (UVA N500010101). This means that if you have previously taken examination attempt in FY532, these attempts will automatically be transferred to FY548.

Entry requirements

Students who are registered for or have passed FY543 or FY837, are not allowed to take the course.

Academic preconditions

Students taking the course are expected to:

  • Have knowledge of basic classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics
  • Be able to use elementary mathematics to handle model descriptions based on physical laws.

Course introduction

The course gives an introduction to the physics of condensed matter with emphasis on crystalline materials. The student should after the course be able to explain on a quantum mechanical basis, theoretical models for the properties of solids and be able to apply these models to calculate mechanical, thermo-dynamical and electronic properties of matter. The course provides a basis for understanding the scientific literature on novel nano-structured materials and to further studies in materials science, nano-technology and bio-physics.

The course builds on the knowledge acquired in the courses FT504: Electromagnetism and Optics (10 ECTS), FY546 Advanced Mechanics and Relativity Theory (10 ECTS), FY544 Quantum mechanics I (5 ECTS), FY547 Quantum mechanics II (5 ECTS) and FY550 Statistical physics (5 ECTS), and gives an academic basis for writing a bachelor and a master thesis in condensed matter physics.

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:

  • Give the competence to handle complex problems and independently take part in interdisciplinary work and identify needs for and structure of own learning.
  • Give skills to apply physical principles and mathematical tools to formulate and evaluate physical models.
  • Give knowledge and understanding of the properties of condensed materials.

Expected learning outcome

The learning objectives of the course are that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • Recognize common crystal structures and describe their symmetries.
  • Explain the physics of different types of bonds in crystalline structures
  • Describe diffraction using the reciprocal lattice
  • Determine the structure of crystalline materials by x-ray diffraction
  • Use models to calculate dispersion relations for acoustical and optical phonons.
  • Account for phonons' impact on heat capacity and heat transport.
  • Deduce Bloch's theorem from the Schrödinger equation for electrons in a periodic potential.
  • Perform band structure calculations for simple systems in the weak potential- and in the Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals approximations
  • Describe the relation between electron band-structure and crystal symmetry.
  • Explain the effective electron mass and apply it to describe electron dynamics in semiconductors.
  • Describe the effect of doping on the electronic properties of semiconductors


The following main topics are contained in the course:
  • Atomic, intermolecular and colloid forces
  • Crystalline solids
  • Energy bonds in crystalline structures
  • Reciprocal lattice
  • Brillouin zones
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Acoustic and optical phonons. Dispersion relations
  • Heat capacity and heat conductance
  • Electron in a periodic potential
  • Bloch's theorem
  • Solution of the Schrödinger equation in two approximations:
    1. by Fourier expansion of the crystal potential
    2. by expansion in atomic orbitals
  • Electron energy band structures
  • Electron dynamics. Effective electron mass
  • Electronic properties of semiconductors


Charles Kittel: Introduction to solid state physics, 8th edition. ISBN 978-0-471-68057-4See itslearning for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Exam element a)




Oral examination




Second examiner: External


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

To be announced during the course

ECTS value


Indicative number of lessons

50 hours per semester

Teaching Method

At the faculty of science, teaching is organized after the three-phase model ie. intro, training and study phase.

  • Intro phase (lectures) - 30 hours
  • Training phase: 20 hours, including 20 hours tutorials

The intro phase consists of lectures and discussion with the students of the topics of the course. During the training phase, the students work on tasks and project assignments that deal with the most important academic elements of the course. The project assignments are presented and discussed at the end of the training phase. During the study phase, the students will continue to work on the tasks of the training phase and prepare questions for discussion during the hours of the training phase.

Activities during the studyphase:

  • Self-study of the textbook and notes
  • Written assignments
  • Working with ~ 8 projects which involve writing a synopsis and preparation of an oral presentation of the topics in the assignments.
  • Independent work with the topics in the intro- and skills training phase
  • Preparation for the exam

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
N. Asger Mortensen namo@mci.sdu.dk Center for Polariton-driven Light-Matter Interactions (POLIMA)

Additional teachers

Name E-mail Department City
Line Jelver lije@mci.sdu.dk SDU Nano Optics


Administrative Unit

Fysik, kemi og Farmaci

Team at Educational Law & Registration


Offered in


Recommended course of study

Profile Education Semester Offer period

Transition rules

Transitional arrangements describe how a course replaces another course when changes are made to the course of study. 
If a transitional arrangement has been made for a course, it will be stated in the list. 
See transitional arrangements for all courses at the Faculty of Science.