Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

PHYSICS 682, SPRING 2016

Special Topics Course:
Berry Phases in Solid State Physics

Instructor:
Prof. David Vanderbilt
Office: Serin E291
Email: dhv@physics.rutgers.edu
Phone: 848-445-9049
Office Hours: To be announced


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GENERAL INFORMATION

In the last two decades, it has become increasingly clear that the concepts of Berry phases and Berry curvatures play an important role in many aspects of modern solid-state physics. In this course I will provide a tutorial background on the mathematical concepts, and then show how they apply to a variety of problems in theoretical condensed-matter physics.

The topics to be covered tentatively include:

The syllabus gives further details. If time permits, other topics may be included. The emphasis will be theoretical, working mainly in the framework of single-particle Hamiltonians for crystalline systems.

Prerequisites: Graduate Quantum Mechanics (Physics 501-502 or equivalent) and the first semester of Graduate Solid State Physics (Physics 601 or equivalent).

Lectures: Lectures will be on Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:20-11:40pm, meeting in ARC-333 on Mondays and ARC-206 on Wednesdays.

Books: The primary text will be a draft version of a book I am writing on this subject, but other sources will be recommended as appropriate. A tentative list of relevant Books and Review Articles is provided here.

Homeworks and other assignments: Homework problems will be a mix of some problems requiring an analytic hand-written solution, while others will involve the use of the PythTB ("Python Tight Binding") code for the purpose of exploring the properties of simple tight-binding models that illustrate the issues discussed in class. In addition, I intend for there to be a final project that will involve writing a paper, or writing (or exanding) a Wikipedia article on a topic related to the course.

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