Physics 601: Graduate Solid State Physics I

Fall 2016
Wednesdays  10:20 - 11:40 a.m.
Fridays       3:20 - 4:40 p.m.
ARC 203

Course Instructor:  Prof.  Premi Chandra                                       

Overview:   In this graduate course we'll study the physics of electrons in solids with a focus on electron transport.  We'll begin with pre-quantum solid state physics and then will discuss free electron theory.  Next we'll  characterize the properties of static (crystal structure) and dynamic (lattice vibrations) arrangements of atoms using scattering methods.   We'll then study electrons in solids and will identify key features distinguishing metals, insulators and semiconductors.   Electron transport in solids will then be discussed in more detail. Next we will discuss semiconductor devices before then turning to an exotic semiconductor of current interest, graphene.  Our subsequent topic will be superconductors, metals that display dissipation-free conduction but are not perfect conductors but rather perfect diamagnets.  We'll study their thermodynamics and then the Ginzburg-Landau theory that was developed to describe them. This approach will then be applied to magnetic and ferroelectric phase transitions with specific links to observed quantities.   We'll end the course with discussion of novel insulators that are of current research interest.  Throughout the course we'll emphasize the assumptions of the models involved with frequent comparison with relevant experiment; we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches presented and will link, whenever possible, to current scientific literature.

Course Texbooks:   S.H. Simon, Solid State Basics,  (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013)
                                 M.P. Marder, Condensed Matter Physics, (John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, 2010)


Week of
Sept. 5


Whatever Happened to Solid State Physics?

Why I Haven't Retired

Early Solid State Physics:  Specific Heat of Solids

Sept. 12

Early Solid State Physics:  Drude Theory of Metals

Homework 1
(due W 9/21/16)

HW 1 Solutions

HW1 Problem 7 Extra Notes

Drude and Sommerfeld Theories of Metals

Sept. 19

Free Electron Theory

Homework 2
(due W 9/28/16)

A Fermi Gas of Atoms

Deborah Jin (1968-2016)

HW 2 Solutions

Free Electron Theory

Sept. 26

Geometry of Solids

Homework 3
(due F 10/7/16)

Impossible Crystals
(Von Baeyer)

Quasicrystalline Materials
(Goldman et al.)

Icosohedral Solids:  A New Phase Of Matter

Decagonal and Quasicrystalline TIlings
in Medieval Islamic Architecture
(Lu and Steinhardt)

HW 3 Solutions

Geometry of Solids

Oct. 3

Neutron and X-Ray Diffraction

Neutron and X-Ray Diffraction

Homework 4
(due W 10/19/16)

Improving the Density of Jammed Disordered
Packings Using Ellipsoids

(Doneev et al.)

Diffract, then Destroy

The Revolution Will Not be Crystallized

HW 4 Solutions

Oct. 10

Neutrons and X-Ray Diffraction

Make-Up Class M 10/10
4:45 - 6:10
ARC 204

Neutrons and X-Ray Diffraction
(W 10/12)

(No Class on F 10/14)
Oct. 17

Lattice Vibrations and Phonons

Homework 5

Observed Effect of a Changing Step-Edge
Denstiy on Thin-Film Growth Dynamics
(Fleet et al.)

HW5 Solutions

Lattice Vibrations and Phonons

Oct. 24

Lattice Vibrations and Phonons

             How to Measure Dispersions with
                        Inelastic Scattering



Oct. 31`

Inelastic Neutron Scattering and Correlations


Midterm Solutions

Nov. 7

Electronic Structure:  Metals and Insulators

Homework 6
(due 11/21/16)

Kittel Chapter 7
Photonic Crystals:  Semiconductors of Light
(E. Yablonovitch)

HW 6 Solutions

Electronic Structure:  Metals and Insulators
Nov. 14

  Electronic Structure:  Metals and Insulators


Nov. 21

Semiconductors Continued

Homework 7
(due 12/2/16)

Carbon Nanotubes and Photonics (Avouris)
Nanomaterials in Transistors (A. Franklin)
End-Bonded Contacts for Carbon Nanotube Transistors
(Can et al.)

HW 7 Solutions

Make-Up Class  M 11/21
4:45 - 6:10 p.m.
ARC 204

  PN Junctions

Nov. 28

The Transistor and Moore's Law 

Introduction to Superconductivity 

Homework 8
(due 12/14/16)

High-Temperature Superconductivity in
the Iron Pnictides  (M. Norman)
The Birth of Topological Insulators (J. Moore)
New Directions in Science and Technology:  Two-Dimensional Crystals 
(A. H. Castro Neto and K. Novoselov)

HW 8 Solutions

Dec. 5

No Class Dec. 7th

(Make-Up M 11/21)

More about Superconductors
Review for the Final

Dec. 12

Superconductivity and the Anderson-Higgs Boson

Plasmons, Gauge Invariance and Mass

Phil Anderson and Gauge Symmetry Breaking

Dec. 12


Friday Dec. 16th

ARC 205

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Final Solutions



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Best of Luck with your Adventures,
Scientific and Otherwise!