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NUS Physics Module Review: PC3235 Solid State Physics

Topics covered as stated in course description: crystal structure, wave diffraction and reciprocal lattice, crystal binding and elastic constants, crystal vibrations, thermal properties of phonons, free electron Fermi gas, energy bands, semiconductor crystals. Basically chapters 1-8 of assigned textbook.

Though this module is not a core module, the content, however is of fundamental importance in many areas of physics. Essentially this module is the study of crystals – a periodic array of atoms.

This is the second module I took under Prof Kuok. The return of the “gold bars”. 😀 Prof Kuok tends to give out chocolates as an incentive for people to participate in class.. though honestly the lectures can get really dry at times as Prof Kuok will simply be rushing through the slides. Most of the mathematics is skimmed through… and there are a lot of missing steps in the lecture notes (and the textbook) which need to be filled in.

This module is rather qualitative in nature, the mathematics is minimal for a level 3000 physics module. The things that could be tested are pretty much the same as well, and based on the past year papers it could be anything in the lecture notes… Then again, you will have the privilege of using a helpsheet for the final exam. If only one could squeeze the whole lecture notes inside that helpsheet…

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