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Introduction to Solid State Physics


Admission Requirements

We use some results from QMII that the students are expected to take also in this semester.


This course gives a basic introduction to solid state physics. You will learn how special properties of metals (e.g. high thermal and electrical conductivity) can be explained.
Specific subjects:

  • free electron gas

  • electrical and thermal transport

  • crystal structures

  • electrons in a periodic potential

Course objectives

The students are expected to understand why the classical description of the electron gas breaks down by comparing the classical results to the quantummechnical approach. This course also teaches to use approximations (e.g. the continuum approximation, explansion in small parameter) to allow to find analytical expressions, even if the starting expression is rather complex. Finally, three dimensional thinking is encouraged when discussing crystal structures.



Mode of instruction

  • lectures – werkcolleges – homework
    Please not that the werkcolleges constitute an integral part of this course.

Assessment method

Written examination with short questions
Final mark is weighted average of exam (8/10th) and the homework (2/10)
There is retake of the exam.


You will find on blackboard the script, the exercises for the werkcollege and homework, and the solutions.
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

No book necessary, script will be provided during the course. For a more detailed treatment of solid state physics I recommend:
N. W. Ashcroft, N. D. Mermin: “Solid State Physics” Brooks/Cole International Edition (1979).


Contactgegevens Docent:Prof.dr.H.Schiessel (Helmut)