This component comprises a set of 24 lectures in solid state physics with a large group tutorial support. Through the Level HE1 prescribed physics courses, all students with have acquired a knowledge of basic properties of matter, wave like behavior and an introduction to simple quantum mechanical concepts. This course builds on that knowledge to introduce some of the key concepts in solid state physics, including crystal dynamics, free electrons in metals and energy bands.
: Crystal lattice, reciprocal lattice, vibrations and diffraction
Lattice Dynamics: Phonons, density of states, Debye theory of lattice specific heat, thermal conductivity
Free Electron Theory of Metals: Occupation of states by Fermi-Dirac statistics, Fermi energy. Electronic specific heat, Electrical conductivity.
Band Theory: E-k relation, Brillouin zones, band structure (energy gaps and band overlap), low dimensional systems and quantum structures (density of states), distinction between metals, semiconductors and insulators.
A first course in the physics of the nucleus.
Introduction: Terminology, scattering definitions, Rutherford Scattering, units.
Nuclear Properties: Size, mass, spin, magnetic moment, binding energy, stability.
Radioactive Decay: Basic concept, mean life, half-life, decay sequences, branching. Secular and transient equilibrium. Beta decay: isobar mass curves, beta spectrum. Alpha decay: relationship to binding energy per nucleon (B/A), alpha spectrum, kinematics of decay. Gamma decay: association with alpha-, beta-decay. Selection rules for beta and gamma decay.
Nuclear Models: Semi-empirical mass formula: liquid drop models. Fit to B/A versus A curve. Discrepancies – magic numbers. Shell model: infinite square well, harmonic oscillator potentials, need for spin-orbit potential, Pauli principle, pairing.
Nuclear Reactions: Definitions: endothermic and exothermic reactions. Threshold energy. Kinematics. Centre of mass reference frame. Direct, compound nuclear reactions.
Nuclear fission and applications: Nuclear fission: prompt and delayed neutrons, liquid drop description, energy release, fission barrier, mass distribution. Fission reactor: chain reaction, multiplication constant, critical condition, crucial role of delayed neutrons, four factor formula, corrections for losses.
Introduction with review of:
(i) Hydrogen atom – spectroscopic notation and quantum numbers
(ii) Spin-orbit interaction and its effects upon atomic spectra
(iii) Pauli exclusion principle and electron spin
(iv) Multi-electron atoms – shells and sub-shells
Structure/spectrum of Helium – the exchange interaction
Atoms with several valence electrons
States of total angular momentum using the m-scheme
The use of jj and LS coupling and selection rules.
Hund’s rules for ground states of multi-electron atoms
Orbit-orbit and spin-spin interactions: connection to Hund’s rules
Role of the nucleus: Isotope shifts and hyperfine structure
Spectral line broadening (natural and Doppler)
Inter-atomic potential energy
Born-Oppenheimer approximation and separation of separation of spectra
Diatomic molecules and their vibrational and rotational spectra
Molecular electronic spectra: Raman and ESR spectra
You will perform a selection of three experiments with the general theme of nuclear physics, atomic physics, semiconductor physics, etc. You will produce 6 lab diary entries and either a full report or oral presentation on one experiment. You will receive detailed marking and feedback on how to improve the usefulness of both, to yourself and others. Typical experiments include: Muon lifetime, a, b and g- spectroscopy,
scattering, g-g correlations, Rutherford scattering, Positron annihilation, Radiation decontamination, X-ray diffraction of crystals, semiconductor laser diode physics, photoluminescence, and others.