Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Solid State Physics



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Física



Teacher in charge

Ana Cristina Gomes da Silva, Gregoire Marie Jean Bonfait

Weekly hours


Total hours


Teaching language




One intends to focus the fundamental concepts of Condensed Matter, emphasizing the applications to engineering and life problem systematization and solving. Fundamental proprieties of Condensed Matter will be verified in experimental laboratory sessions, involving the comprehension of experimental setups, data collecting and treatment systematization and elaboration of scientific reports.


First and second year grade Physics and Mahtematics; Quantum Mechanics; Statistical Physics

Subject matter

Solid State Physics Program

1. Crystals and crystalline solids
1.2 Crystalline lattice.
1.2 Labelling crystal planes.

1.3 Reciprocal lattice
1.4 X-ray diffraction

1.5 Lattice defects


2. Thermal properties of solids
2.1 Thermal vibrations of the atoms. Phonons.
2.2 Thermal expansion.
2.3 Contribution of thermal vibrations of crystalline lattice for the heat capacity of the solids.
2.3.1 Classical approach.
2.3.2 Einstein Model.
2.3.3 Debye Model 
2.4 Thermal conductivity.

3. Electrical Properties of metals
1.1 Classical theory of conduction in metals.
1.2 Failures of the classical model.
1.3 Fermi-Dirac distribution
1.4 The density of states.
1.5 The free electron model.
1.6 The density of occupied states.
1.7 Introduction to band theory of electrical conduction.

4. Semiconductors
2.1 Band theory of solids –again.
2.2 The difference between insulators and semiconductors.
2.3 Holes.
2.4 The effective mass.
2.5. n-type and p-type semiconductors. Hall effect.
2.6 The free electron model applied to semiconductors.


5. Magnetic properties of solids
4.1 Macroscopic magnetic quantities.
4.2 Atomic magnetic moment.
4.3 Paramagnetism. Brillouin theory.
4.4 Ferromagnetism. Weiss theory. Landau theory. Ferromagnetic domains.


4. Bibliography

Introduction to Solid State Physics, C. Kittel, 7th edition (Wiley)

Introdução à Física Estatística, J.P. Casquilho e P.I. Teixeira, IST Press (2011)

Introduction to Statistical Physics, J.P. Casquilho and P.I. Teixeira, (Cambridge UniversityPress 2015)

Fundamentals of Condensed Matter and CrystallinePhysics, D.L. Sidebottom (Cambridge UniversityPress 2012)

R. Turton,  The Physics of Solids,  ed. Oxford University Press (2000)

Other Books for reviews:

[1]        Arthur Beiser, Perspectives of Modern Physics, Internatio. 1981.

[2]        Zajac and Hecht, Optics. Addison Wesley, 1974.

[3]        A. & Finn, Física volume II Campos e Ondas, Brasileira. 1972.


Teaching method

Theoretical lectures, once a week. 

Practical sessions in the laboratory every week, and problem resolution sessions.

Evaluation method


Theory:  2 tests and / or final exam 

Theory grade: simple average of the grades of the tests or the exam grade

A successful  result in the theory assessment is required  - minimum grade: 10 in 20


Frequency is mandatory. Obtained with the laboratory sessions and with minimum 2/3 assistance to the theoretical lectures and the problem resolution sessions.

A successful  result in the laboratory assessment is required  - minimum grade: 10 in 20

Final grade

The final grade is the average of 60% of the theory grade and 40% of the laboratory grade.

 Sudents with a previous year(s) successeful assessment in the laboratory component are only assessed relative to the theory and the final grade is given by the theory grade