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PHSI332 Electromagnetism and Condensed Matter

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Physics of electromagnetic waves: energy flow, propagation through interfaces, dielectrics, conductors and plasmas. Application of the principles of quantum, thermal, electromagnetic and optical physics to solidstate systems.

This paper covers two major topics in physics, electromagnetism and condensed-matter physics. The electromagnetism section introduces techniques for solving Laplace's equation for the electrostatic potential and investigates the behaviour of electromagnetic waves. Condensed matter is the largest field in physics and leads to the development of all our semiconductor technology. In this section we study the application of quantum and statistical mechanics to the properties of metals, insulators, semiconductors and superconductors.

Paper title Electromagnetism and Condensed Matter
Paper code PHSI332
Subject Physics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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MATH 170 and PHSI 232
Schedule C
Teaching staff
Course co-ordinator: Dr Philip Brydon

The Oxford Solid State Basics, Steven H. Simon

Introduction to Electrodynamics, David J. Griffiths

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
After completing this paper students will be able to
  • Understand and apply techniques for solving Poisson's equation in electrostatics
  • Derive electromagnetic wave equations in dielectrics and conductors
  • Understand the propagation of electromagnetic waves through a variety of media and across boundaries between media
  • Describe a crystalline solid in terms of the direct and reciprocal lattices
  • Understand optical, vibrational and electronic wave propagation in crystalline solids
  • Apply quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics to understand the properties of metals, insulators and semiconductors

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41