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Condensed Matter Physics 1

Module PH0017 [KM Expert 1]

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2010/1

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH0017 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Mandatory Modules in Bachelor Programme Physics (5th Semester, Specialization KM)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
270 h 90 h 9 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH0017 in the version of WS 2010/1 was Rudolf Gross.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Crystal structure and structural analysis:

periodic lattices – basic terms, definitions and basic forms
specific crystal structures
defects and real crystals
reciprocal lattice and diffraction 

Crystal binding: 

van-der-Waals, ionic binding
covalent and metallic binding
hydrogen bond

Elastic properties:

continuum approximation
strain components
elastic waves

Lattice dynamics:

classical theory of lattice dynamics
quantisation of lattice vibrations
density of states in the phonon spectrum

Thermal properties:

specific heat capacity
anharmonic effects and thermal expansion
heat conductivity

Electrons in solids:

free-electron gas
Bloch states and band structure
classification scheme for metals, semi-metals, semiconductors, insulators
Fermi surfaces

Dynamics of electrons in solids:

semiclassical modell
Boltzmann equation and coefficients

Learning Outcome

The lecture and exercise group allow the students to:

- apply basic concepts from Condensed Matter Physics, to explain physical properties related to the condensed state of matter by considering the crystalline nature. In particular, mechanical properties, lattice dynamics, specific heat, heat conduction, basics of electron transport can be addressed;

- know the impact of pioneers in the field of condensed matter physics for the most relevant inventions and discoveries;

- sketch important experimental techniques;

- explain physical properties by considering classical theories, quantum theory and thermodynamics;

- apply expert knowledge to daily life situations concerned with condensed matter physics, lab excercises, internships and future experiments.


Knowledge of experimental physics, electromagnetism, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 4 Condensed Matter Physics 1 Gross, R. Tue, 12:00–14:00, PH HS2
Thu, 10:00–12:00, PH HS2
UE 2 Exercise to Condensed Matter Physics 1 Geprägs, S.
Responsible/Coordination: Gross, R.
dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

lecture (4 hour per week) and exercises (2 hour per week)


Hand written notes on the tablet PC, sketches of experimental setups, presentation of relevant data using powerpoint, handouts of relevant slides. A pdf version of the lecture content will be provided via the internet for download. At the same time, there will be exercises for download and discussion in exercise groups.


R. Gross, A. Marx, (in German) "Festkörperphysik", 2. Auflage, De Gruyter (2014).

N.W. Ahcroft, N.D Mermin, "Solid State Physics", Holt-Saunders International Editions.

C. Kittel, "Introduction to Solid State Physics", Wiley. 

Ch. Weißmantel, C. Hamann, (in German) "Grundlagen der Festkörperphysik", Wiley-VCH.

H. Ibach, H. Lüth, (in German) "Festkörperphysik: Einführung in die Grundlagen", Springer.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The learning outcome is tested in a written exam. Participation in tutorials is strongly recommended.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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