Condensed Matter

Module code: PA2230

In this module you will learn about the physics that underpins the behaviour of electrons in crystalline solid materials, part of the Institute of Physics ‘core of physics’ material.

You will learn how to sketch simple crystal structures adopted by solid materials, and how to perform simple calculations relating to crystal structures. We will look at simple models for lattice vibrations, and investigate the laws governing the behaviour of electrons in various condensed matter environments including metals, insulators, semiconductors and superconductors.

Topics covered

  • Crystal structures and phonons
  • Electrons in crystals
  • Semiconductors and superconductors


  • 24 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of practicals/workshops
  • 115 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (70%)