TFY4220 - Solid State Physics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours C

Course content

Atomic structure, forces, bonds, crystallography, symmetries, order and disorder. Fourier theory. Direct and reciprocal space, Brillouin zones, structure determination by diffraction. Lattice vibrations, the continuum approximation, phonons, heat capacity. Free electron gas, Fermi-Dirac distribution, electrons in periodic solids, nearly-free-electron model, and energy bands. Intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors. Shortly on the nanoscale. Shortly on magnetism. The syllabus will be illuminated with examples from materials research and nanotechnology.

Learning outcome

The course aims through a theoretical and experimental approach to give fundamental insights into solid state physics.


The candidate should know about:

  • Characteristic physical properties of different categories of solid materials, with an emphasis on the crystalline state.
  • A wide spectrum of theoretical approaches to model the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of solid materials.


The candidate should be able to:

  • do quantitative calculations based on established theoretical models to describe the properties of materials.
  • use Fourier methods, including reciprocal space, as an analytical tool and source to knowhow.
  • perform and analyze basic diffraction experiments to gain information about atomic scale structures.
  • analyze solid-state problems using mathematical and numerical methods, including ICT.

General competence.

The candidate should be able to:

  • account for the role of solid state physics for technology and society,
  • account for the links between solid state physics and other main branches of physics.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, calculation exercises and mandatory laboratory exercises and works. The course might be given in English if international master students follow the course. Expected workload in the course is 225 hours.

Compulsory assignments

  • Works
  • Laboratory exercises

Further on evaluation

Written exam. The re-sit examination (in August) may be changed from written to oral.

Course materials

Charles Kittel: Introduction to solid state physics, 8th ed., Wiley.

Alternative/supplementary literature: Philip Hofmann: Solid State Physics, 2. ed., Wiley

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIF4052 7.5
TFE4215 7.5 AUTUMN 2007
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Physics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 C INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS School exam 100/100 C INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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