Physics 162 — Solid State Physics

Currently, this half course focuses on the electronic properties of solids. It starts from the classical Drude model of the electrons in metal, then quickly moves to the quantum free electron model and the band theory in solids. Crystal structure and the concept of the reciprocal lattice are briefly introduced. The scattering of x-rays by a crystal is described to illustrate Bragg diffraction by a periodic structure. With this foundation in place, we are ready to discuss the nearly free electron model and the tight binding model, which are used to describe the valence and core electrons, respectively. By introducing the concept of effective mass the various electrical transport properties of semiconductors are described. In the last third of the period, selected topics in solid-state physics, such as two-dimensional systems, magnetism, and superconductivity, are covered. Prerequisite: Physics 52 and Physics 117 or equivalent. In addition to weekly homework assignments, there is a term paper and an oral presentation on a topic of the student’s interest in the field of solid state physics.

    Meetings, Fall 2019