Courses & Units

Statistical Physics and Solid State Physics KYA322

Students majoring in Physics must take at least one of KYA322 and KYA323.

This unit is offered in odd numbered years.


The objective of this course is to provide a thorough grounding in statistical physics and solid state physics. Statistical physics describes the structure of bulk matter - solids, liquids, gases, plasmas - in terms of very general assumptions about the behaviour of the basic constituents. It has close ties with both kinetic theory and thermodynamics but applies also to quantum systems. The course examines in detail the classical or Maxwell-Boltzmann, and the quantum Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics, and a wide variety of their applications. Solid state physics builds on these topics and includes crystal structure, reciprocal lattices, lattice vibrations, Brillouin zones, thermal properties of solids, electric and magnetic properties of solids, and topics such as superconductivity. The material also provides the background for semiconductor physics. In addition, in the second semester laboratory course you will undertake self-directed experiments relating to material covered in the physics major.


Unit name Statistical Physics and Solid State Physics
Unit code KYA322
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Physics
Coordinator Doctor Andy McCulloch
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


This unit is currently unavailable.


Please check that your computer meets the minimum System Requirements if you are attending via Distance/Off-Campus.

Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • knowledge: apply knowledge of physical principles in a broad range of contexts, ability to apply both theoretical and experimental physical knowledge, understand underlying assumptions and limitations of physical theories, learn both independently and cooperatively, learn new skills and apply learning to new and unexpected situations.
  • communication skills: demonstrate oral, written, numerical and graphic communication, develop the ability to communicate in both a technical , rigorous manner and to explain concepts to a non-expert audience, ability to integrate information from a range of services & develop a coherent understanding from them.
  • problem solving skills: develop the ability to think critically about the evidence for and against different physical theories, conceptualise problems, formulae and evaluate a range of possible solutions.
  • global perspective: understand the role of physics in a broad range of contexts, disciplines and situations.
  • social responsibility: understand that applications of physics may have important social & ethical implications.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.



Admission into a Masters course OR KYA211 Waves and Kinetic Theory AND KYA212 Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics AND (KMA252 Calculus and Applications 2 OR KME271 Engineering Mathematics)


Teaching Pattern

3 lectures, 1 tutorial weekly, 36 lab hrs total

AssessmentAssignments (10%)|Labs (25%)|Test (30%)|Examination (35%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.