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PHSI341 Thermal and Condensed Matter Physics

An introduction to the physics of many-particle systems. The laws of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The structure of crystalline solids, and the thermal and electrical properties of solid state systems.

Paper title Thermal and Condensed Matter Physics
Paper code PHSI341
Subject Physics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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MATH 140 or MATH 170
Pre or Corequisite
PHSI 221 or CHEM 201
PHSI 332
Schedule C

Teaching staff

Dr. Philip Brydon


D. V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison Wesley Longman.

* S. H. Simon, The Oxford Solid State Basics, Oxford (optional).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • State the laws of thermodynamics and understand their significance in providing the framework for classical thermal physics.
  • Understand how the second law of thermodynamics emerges from statistical considerations, and derive the thermodynamic behaviour of simple systems from first principles.
  • Use thermal and statistical physics to determine the physical properties of realistic systems.
  • Describe a crystalline solid in terms of the direct and reciprocal lattices, and infer crystal structures from X-ray diffraction data.
  • Understand optical, vibrational and electronic wave propagation in crystalline solids.
  • Use appropriate microscopic models to describe the physical properties of metals, insulators, semiconductors, and magnetic systems.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 9-14, 16, 18-22