• Offered by Research School of Physics
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Patrick Kluth
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

New materials enable new technologies and many practicing physicists in academia and industry work in this fundamental area of physics. This course aims to establish fundamental concepts in solid-state physics, and applies the physics learned previously (in particular quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and statistical mechanics) to macroscopic 'real-world' materials. The structure and properties of solids including thermal, electrical and magnetic properties are described and the electron theory of solids is developed and applied to explain the physical properties of metals, semiconductors, dielectrics and superconductors. Students will practice solving theoretical problems in condensed matter physics in tutorials and further develop their understanding of the topics by completing the assignments and quizzes. Students will also perform practical laboratory sessions to learn some of the key analytical techniques in solid-state physics. The results from these laboratory sessions will be analysed and written up in laboratory reports to practice critical analysis and communication of experimental investigations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain the significance and value of solid state physics, both scientifically and in the wider community.
  2. Describe key concepts in crystallography such as material structure and reciprocal space, and how these can be investigated experimentally.
  3. Integrate knowledge and mathematical techniques from foundational areas of physics to describe the thermal, electrical and magnetic properties of solid systems.
  4. Apply key analysis techniques to typical problems encountered in the field.
  5. Understand the role of materials physics in the development of modern technology, and the physical processes on which these technologies are based.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Examination (40) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Assignments (40) [LO 2,3,4]
  3. Laboratory reports and logbook (20) [LO 2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of , a 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week, a 2 hour workshop per week and 6 x 3 hour laboratory sessions accross the semester.
  • Self-paced online lectures (approximately 2 hours per week)
  • Approximately 52 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed PHYS2020 and PHYS2013.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Indicative reading:

Simon, S. Oxford Solid State Basics

Hoffman, P. Solid State Physics

Assumed Knowledge

It is desirable that students have taken PHYS3101 and PHYS3103, but it is not a course requirement.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8747 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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