Solid State Physics

Macmillan International Higher Education
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Publisher
Macmillan International Higher Education
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Published on
Jun 18, 1969
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Pages
540
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ISBN
9781349007844
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The study of solids is one of the richest, most exciting, and most successful branches of physics. While the subject of solid state physics is often viewed as dry and tedious this new book presents the topic instead as an exciting exposition of fundamental principles and great intellectual breakthroughs. Beginning with a discussion of how the study of heat capacity of solids ushered in the quantum revolution, the author presents the key ideas of the field while emphasizing the deep underlying concepts. The book begins with a discussion of the Einstein/Debye model of specific heat, and the Drude/Sommerfeld theories of electrons in solids, which can all be understood without reference to any underlying crystal structure. The failures of these theories force a more serious investigation of microscopics. Many of the key ideas about waves in solids are then introduced using one dimensional models in order to convey concepts without getting bogged down with details. Only then does the book turn to consider real materials. Chemical bonding is introduced and then atoms can be bonded together to crystal structures and reciprocal space results. Diffraction experiments, as the central application of these ideas, are discussed in great detail. From there, the connection is made to electron wave diffraction in solids and how it results in electronic band structure. The natural culmination of this thread is the triumph of semiconductor physics and devices. The final section of the book considers magnetism in order to discuss a range of deeper concepts. The failures of band theory due to electron interaction, spontaneous magnetic orders, and mean field theories are presented well. Finally, the book gives a brief exposition of the Hubbard model that undergraduates can understand. The book presents all of this material in a clear fashion, dense with explanatory or just plain entertaining footnotes. This may be the best introductory book for learning solid state physics. It is certainly the most fun to read.
The hopping process, which differs substantially from conventional transport processes in crystals, is the central process in the transport phenomena discussed in this book. Throughout the book the term ``hopping'' is defined as the inelastic tunneling transfer of an electron between two localized electronic states centered at different locations. Such processes do not occur in conventional electronic transport in solids, since localized states are not compatible with the translational symmetry of crystals.

The rapid growth of interest in hopping transport has followed in the footsteps of the development of physics of disordered systems during the last three decades. The intense interest in disordered solids can be attributed to the technological potential of the new noncrystalline materials, as well as to new fundamental problems discovered in solid state physics when a crystal is no longer translationally symmetric.

In the last decade hopping systems such as organic polymers, biological materials, many oxide glasses, mesoscopic systems, and the new high-temperature superconducting materials in their normal state have attracted much interest. New phenomena investigated recently include interference and coherent scattering in variable range hopping conduction, mesoscopic effects, relaxation processes and thermo-electric power, and thermal conductivity caused by hopping transport. This volume presents the reader with a thorough overview of these recent developments, written by leading experts in the various fields.

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