Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Materials Physics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Problem Sheets  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Critically evaluate experimental techniques with respect to their utility in structure determination in condensed matter physics.

Identify and classify crystal structures and defects in terms of symmetry and space groups using appropriate symbols and terminology.

Demonstrate familiarity with the physics and experimental materials science of Soft Matter systems (e.g. polymers).

Explain and discuss the physical phenomena associated with Superconductivity and Superfluidity.

Describe and critically evaluate the distinctive properties of nanoscale materials and nanoparticles.

Brief description

This module builds on the fundamental condensed matter physics developed in PH32410 and exposes students to some advanced topics and current research. Indicative topics include structure determination, soft matter, superconductivity & phase transitions, and nanomaterials. Technological applications of functional materials are introduced alongside the physics supporting them.


Structure Determination:
- Microscopy techniques (e.g. AFM, STM, SEM, TEM)
- Crystalline symmetry and space groups.
- Defects and disorder.

Soft matter:
- Rheological overview of "Soft Matter"
- Introduction to polymers; physical, mechanical, chemical and thermodynamic properties
- Soft matter physics in biology and medicine; methods including spin-resonance (ESR/NMR), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

- The superconducting phase transition and the Meissner effect
- Superconducting materials and applications
- B.E. condensates and macroscopic quantum effects

- Low dimensionality and quantum confinement in solids/metals/semiconductors
- Nanoparticles and nano-synthesis

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific skills


This module is at CQFW Level 6