Course syllabus


TIF325 Physics of Materials lp3 VT21 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the Department of Physics

Contact details


Aleksandar Matic,


Marianne Liebi,

Mattias Thuvander,

Aleksandar Matic,


Course purpose

The broad field of materials science is looked at from a physics perspective. Properties of the materials are governed by atomic arrangements up to the macroscopic structures. The course is expanding from ideal crystals and simple liquids to real materials, such as metallic alloys, ceramics, polymers, colloidal systems and biological materials.
The aim of this course is to provide a foundation for understanding and utilization of properties and behavior of materials. The course provides core competence for students aiming at either a career in academia or in R&D-industry. It is also the foundation for the entire material physics track.


Course schedule in Time Edit

Course literature

Reading material in the form of lecture notes and book chapters (e-Books). Reading notes will be posted in connection to lectures. Two examples:

- I. W. Hamley, An introduction to Soft Matter, John Wiley & Sons, 2007

- E. J. Mittermeijer, Fundamentals of Materials Science, Springer 2010

Course design

The course is based on a series of lectures. There will be  lab-exercises covering some of the experimental tools discussed in the lectures. A case study in the form of  a project work in small groups will be conducted, with the aim of applying fundamental concepts to a specific material system. The case study will be presented at the end of the course in the form of a poster session.  In addition we plan to have a study visit to the MAXIV Laboratory in Lund (depending on Covid restrictions).

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

- Use thermodynamics to explain phase stability and phase diagrams.
- Use binary phase diagrams to determine the equilibrium phases and their compositions.
- Analyze the behavior and phenomena in materials based on energy and entropy arguments
- Explain the mechanisms of diffusion and use diffusion equations for calculations.
- Understand and explain crystal defects (point defects, dislocations, grain boundaries) and segregation - Explain mechanical properties of hard and soft materials and interpret results from mechanical tests and rheology experiments - Understand scattering techniques and their applicability
- Identify the relevant time-, length- and energy-scales in different material systems
- Apply the fundamental concepts to real materials - Read and understand advanced literature, e.g. review articles

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan.

Examination form

There is a written examination at the end of the course. The course has two mandatory lab-exercises and a project work. The project work (Case study) is graded and is part of the final grade of the course. 

Course summary:

Date Details Due