Solid State Physics



It is intended to focus the fundamental concepts of Solid State Physics, emphasizing in the applications to engineering and life problem systematization and solving. In practical laboratory classes, it is intended to verify and prove fundamental properties of Solid State Physics, as well as the understanding of experimental setups, the systematization of data collecting and treatment of experimental results, as also the elaboration of experimental work reports.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Cristina Gomes da Silva, Susana Isabel Santos Silva Sério Venceslau


Weekly - 5

Total - 56

Teaching language



Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Physics.


Principal bibliography

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

The Oxford Solid State Basics, Steven H. Simon, Oxford University Press (2013)

States of Matter, D.L. Goodsteined Dover (1985)

Secondary Bibliography

Introduction to Solid State Physics: Charles Kittel, John Wiley& Sons, 8th ed.(2005)

Teaching method

Theoretical classes, once a week, lasting 2 hours. Exposition of theoretical material and application examples. Practical classes lasting 2 hours every 15 days, with experimental work and theoretical and practical classes lasting 1 hour every week for resolution of problems.

Evaluation method

Assessment Methods:

See details in portuguese.

Subject matter

1. Electrical properties of metals

1.1 Classical theory of conduction in metals

1.2 Failures of the classical theory.

1.3 Qualitative aspects of the quantum theory of electrical conduction.

1.4 Energy bands theory of solids  I.

1.5 Fermi-Dirac distribution.

1.6 The density of states.

1.7 The free electron model.

1.8 The density of occupied states.

1.9 Introduction to the bands theory of electrical conduction.

2. Semiconductors

2.1 Energy bands theory  II.

2.2 Difference between insulators and semiconductors.

2.3 Vacancies.

2.4 Optical properties of semiconductors. Photoconductivity.

2.5 The effective mass.

2.6 n-type and p-type semiconductors. Hall effect.

2.7 The free electron model applied to semiconductors.

3. Thermal properties of solids.

3.1 Thermal vibrations of atoms. Phonons.

3.2 Thermal expansion.

3.3 Contribution of thermal vibrations of the crystal lattice to the heat capacity of crystalline solids

3.3.1 Classical theory.

3.3.2 Einstein Model.

3.3.3 Debye Model

3.4 Thermal conductivity.

4. Magnetic properties of solids

4.1 Macroscopic magnetic quantities.

4.2 Atomic magnetic moment.

4.3 Paramagnetism. Brillouin''s Theory.

4.4 Ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetic domains. Permanent magnetic materials.

5. Crystals and crystalline solids

5.1 Compact structures.

5.2 Non-compact structures.

5.3 The crystal lattice.

5.4 Crystallographic planes.

5.5 X-ray diffraction.


Programs where the course is taught: