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Introduction to Solid State Physics

  • Number of credits 7.5 Credits
  • Level Bachelor's level
  • Starting Spring Term 2021

About the course

The course begins with a summary of concepts and relationships in quantum mechanics and statistical physics that are needed for elementary solid state physics. This is followed by a review of the structure of crystals. The course treats electrical and thermal properties of crystalline elements and the properties of these properties depending on various variables such as e.g. temperature. The free electron model and the near-free electron model are used to describe the electrical and thermal properties of simpler metals. The concept of holes is introduced for semiconductors and is applied to the electrical properties of intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors. Lattice dynamics is described through the introduction of the phonon concept. The Debey model is used to describe heat capacity, volume expansion and thermal conductivity of insulators. The course includes compulsory laboratory work. The course comprises a theory module of 6.5 credits and a laboratory module of 1 credits.

Expected study results
To fulfil the goals of knowledge and understanding, the student should be able to:
  • describe the crystal structure of the most common cubic and hexagonal structures
  • explain how the reciprocal lattice can be used to explain X-ray scattering against crystals and define Brillouin zones
  • explain differences in the electrical conductivity between metals, insulators and semiconductors based on a band structure model.

To fulfil the goals for proficiency and ability, the student should be able to:
  • perform calculations of reciprocal lattice parameters for cubic structures
  • determine electrical transport properties of metals and semiconductors based on free electron and band structure models
  • calculate the heat capacity based on the Debye model and the free electron model
  • analyse and discuss measurement data based on theoretical models
  • summarise, present and communicate results from experiments
  • collaborate with other students during laboratory work.

To fulfil the goals for values and critical approach, the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of scientific work such as a correct approach to cheating and plagiarism.

Modern Physics 4.5 credits or equivalent. Fundamentals of Electromagnetism 6 credits and Wave Physics and Optics 6 credits alternatively Electrical and wave motion theory 7.5 credits or equivalent.

Forms of instruction
The teaching is conducted in the form of lectures, lessons, problem solving sessions, and supervision during laboratory work. The labs are mandatory. In addition to scheduled activities, individual work with the course material is also required.

The examination on the course's theory module takes place individually in the form of a written examination at the end of the course. On the written examination, one of the grades Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Merit (4) or Pass with Distinction (5).

The examination of the course's laboratory module takes place in groups, with individual assessment, through written reports and oral presentations. On written reports and on oral presentations, one of the grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) is given. On the entire module, one of the grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) is given. The grade Pass (G) is set only when all reports and accounts are approved.

On the entire course, one of the grades Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Merit (4) or Pass with Distinction (5). To pass the entire course, all modules must be passed. Provided that all modules are passed, the grade for the entire course will be the same as for the theory module. Those who have passed a test may not undergo a re-exam for higher grades.

Solid State Physics
Hook John R., Hall Henry Edgar
2. ed. : Chichester : Wiley : 1991 : xxi, 474 p. :
ISBN: 0-471-92804-6

Application and eligibility

Introduction to Solid State Physics, 7.5 hp

Det finns inga tidigare terminer för kursen Spring Term 2021 Visa tillfällen för efterkommande termin


18 January 2021


23 March 2021

Study location




Type of studies

Daytime, 50%

Required Knowledge

Modern Physics or equivalent. Electromagnetics, or equivalent. Waves and Optics, or equivalent.


Academic credits Applicants in some programs at Umeå University have guaranteed admission to this course. The number of places for a single course may therefore be limited.

Application code



Application deadline was 15 October 2020. The application period is closed.

Application and tuition fees

As a citizen of a country outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees for studies at Umeå University.

Application fee

SEK 900

Tuition fee, first instalment

SEK 17,850

Total fee

SEK 17,850

Contact us

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Course is given by
Department of Physics
Contact person for the course is:
Sune Pettersson