PHYS4261 Foundations of Physics 4B (2013/14)
18 lectures + 3 examples classes in Michaelmas Term
Syllabus: Introduction and basic ideas:- macro and microstates, distributions; distinguishable particles, thermal equilibrium, temperature, the Boltzmann distribution, partition functions, examples of Boltzmann statistics: spin-1/2 solid and localized harmonic oscillators; Gases: the density of states: fitting waves into boxes, the distributions, fermions and bosons, counting particles, microstates and statistical weights; Maxwell-Boltzmann gases: distribution of speeds, connection to classical thermodynamics; diatomic gases: Energy contributions, heat capacity of a diatomic gas, hydrogen; Fermi-Dirac gases: properties, application to metals and helium-3; Bose-Einstein gases: properties, application to helium-4, phoney bosons; entropy and disorder, vacancies in solids; phase transitions: types, ferromagnetism of a spin-1/2 solid, real ferromagnetic materials, order-disorder transformations in alloys; statics or dynamics? ensembles, chemical thermodynamics: revisiting chemical potential, the grand canonical ensemble, ideal and mixed gases; dealing with interactions: electrons in metals, liquid helium 3 and 4, real imperfect gases; statistics under extreme conditions: superfluid states in Fermi-Dirac systems, statics in astrophysical systems.
Condensed Matter Physics
30 lectures + 5 examples classes in Michaelmas & Epiphany term
Syllabus: Review of the effect of a periodic potential, energy gap. Fermi surfaces, reduced and extended zone schemes; semiconductor crystals: crystal structures, band gaps, equations of motion, intrinsic carrier concentration, impurity conductivity; Fermi surfaces and metals: electron and hole orbits, energy bands, De Haas-van Alpen effect; superconductivity: experimental and theoretical survey, high temperature superconductors; diamagnetism and paramagnetism: Langevin equation; quantum theory of paramagnetism, Hund’s rules, crystal field splitting, paramagnetism of conduction electrons; ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism: Curie point, exchange integral, magnons, antiferromagnetism, magnetic susceptibility, magnetic domains; magnetic resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance, hyperfine splitting, electron paramagnetic resonance; plasmons, polaritons, and polarons: dielectric function, electrostatic screening, electron–electron and electron–phonon interactions; dielectrics and ferroelectrics: macroscopic and local electric fields, dielectric constant and polarizilbility, structural phase transitions.
2 lectures in Easter Term, one by each lecturer
Lectures: 2 or 3 one-hour lectures per week.
Examples classes: These provide an opportunity to work through and digest the course material by attempting exercises and assignments assisted by direct interaction with the lecturers and demonstrators. Students will be divided into groups, each of which will attend one one-hour class every week.
Students should discuss with the lecturer the qualities expected in the dissertation, but an indication of these is given in the mark proforma used for assessment. The proforma will be made available to students for their information at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term. The dissertation is summatively assessed.
The marked dissertations along with the completed proformas (giving the marks awarded for the dissertation) will be returned to students before the end of the Epiphany Term.
Problem exercises: See http://www.dur.ac.uk/physics/students/problems/