Physics 410-510–Solid State Physics (Spring 2015)

Time and Location:  MWF, 11-12 am in 318 Willamette Hall

Instructor:  Prof. Benjamín J. Alemán, baleman at uoregon dot edu

Office:  178 Willamette Hall           Phone:  541.346.3321

Office Hours:  Mondays and Wednesdays from 12-1 pm, by appointment, or whenever my office door is open.

Graduate Teaching Fellows:

  • Kara Zappitelli, karaz at uoregon dot edu
  • Alex Trevelyan, atrevely at uoregon dot edu

GTF Office Hours:

  • Kara:  Tuesdays 4-5:30 pm and Thursdays 10:30-12 noon in 76 Willamette Hall.
  • Alex:  Mondays 3-4 and Thursdays 1-3 pm.

Text:  Introduction to Solid State Physics by Charles Kittel



Other good books :

Ashcroft & Mermin, Solid State Physics (Brooks-Cole, 1976)
Kittel, Quantum Theory of Solids (Wiley, 1987)
Ziman, Principles of the Theory of Solids (Cambridge University Press, 1979)
Yu & Cardona, Fundamentals of Semiconductors:  Physics and Material Properties (Springer, 2010)


Grades are based on homework, a course project, the midterm, and the final exam:

Homework: 30%
Project: 10%
Midterm: 25%
Final exam: 35%

Homework will be assigned bi-weekly, and counts for 30% of your grade.  Assignments will be posted here on the website.  Homework must be turned into the 410/510 Solid State Physics box in the basement of Willamette Hall on Thursday by 7 pm, unless otherwise specified.  The course GTFs will be available several hours per week to assist you in your homework.  Here are some homework guidelines:

  • Late homework will be marked down 25% for the first day; homework turned in more than one day late will be marked as a zero.  If you have a legitimate reason for turning in homework late, please let me know ASAP.
  • You need to complete homework on your own.  Group work is encouraged, but you must write out your own solutions.  Also, if you get stuck on a problem and use resources such as books, online material, etc. to assist you on the problem, you are required to cite the resources you have used.  Looking up answers to homework can be incredibly useful to your learning, but be sure to give the appropriate credit.
  • Your homework must be neat and legible; messy, illegible homework will be returned ungraded and marked as a zero.  Remember, messy work is indicative of a messy mind; slow down and do it right ☺.
  • The graduate students enrolled in the course will be assigned a few extra problems on each homework set.  Undergraduates that choose to complete these additional problems will receive extra credit.

You will need to choose your own unique Course Project that is related to the course content. Please discuss your proposed project with me before beginning; a short written proposal will be due by Friday, May 8th.  Ideas for projects include writing a paper on a solid-state topic, performing a numerical simulation or calculation (e.g. a band structure calculation), making yourself solid state physics note cards, etc.  The project is 10% of your grade and is due by the time of the Final Exam (Monday June 8th, 10:15 am.)

The Midterm will be on Monday, May 4th, in class.  It will be closed book, closed notes (one single-sided 8.5 “ X 11 “ formula sheet allowed), and counts for 25% of your grade.  Undergraduates and graduates will be graded separately.  No excuses other than medical ones will be accepted for missing/rescheduling the exam.

The Final exam is scheduled for Monday, June 8th, 10:15 am. It will be closed book, closed notes (two single-sided 8.5 “ X 11 “ formula sheets, or equivalent, allowed), and counts for 35% of your grade.  Undergraduates and graduates will be graded separately.  No excuses other than medical ones will be accepted for missing/rescheduling the exam.

Course Documents: (Check here for lecture notes, exams, exam solutions, and additional reading.)

Approximate Course Schedule (This is just a guess of what we will cover this quarter and when we will cover it.  The schedule also lets you know what chapters of Kittel you need to be reading.  Please note that this schedule will likely be altered.)

Week Topics and Kittel Chapters
1 (March 30-April 3) Structure of Materials: Chemistry and Bonding
Geometry of Solids:  Crystal Structure
Ch. 1, 3
2  (April 6-10) The Reciprocal Lattice
Wave Diffraction
Ch. 2
3  (April 13-17) Vibrations in Solids:  Phonons
Ch. 4
4  (April 20-24) Thermal Properties of Solids
Ch. 5
5  (April 27-May 1) Electrons in Solids:
Free Electron Theory (Metals)
Ch. 6
6  (May 4-8) Midterm on Monday, May 4th.
Course Project Proposals due by Friday, May 8th.
Electrons in a Periodic Potential
Energy Bands
Ch. 7
7  (May 11-15) Semiconductors
Ch. 8
8  (May 18-22) Semiconductors continued
Fermi Surfaces and Metals
Ch. 8, 9
9  (May 25-29) Memorial Day Holiday: No Class Monday, May 25th
Fermi Surfaces continued
Ch. 10
10  (June 1-5) Superconductivity continued; Summary
Ch. 10
11  (June 8-12)  Finals Week Final Exam:  10:15 Monday, June 8



Homework Assignments:

Problem Set Due Date
 #1:  Kittel 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Thursday, April 9th by 7 p.m.
 #2:  Kittel 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 4.1, 4.2, (510 only or extra credit: 2.6, 2.7) from Kittel 8th Edition Thursday, April 23rd by 7 p.m
 #3:  Kittel 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, (510 only or extra credit:  Appendix C derivation, rotational symmetries, and Kittel 6.2)  DOWNLOAD HERE Thursday, May 7th by 7 p.m.
#4:  Kittel 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.9, 6.10, 7.2 (510 only or extra credit:  6.8, 7.1) Thursday, May 21st by 7 p.m.
#5:  DOWNLOAD HERE Kittel 7.3, 7.6, 8.1, 8.2, 9.2, 9.9 (510 only or extra credit:  7.4, 9.4, 9.11) Thursday, June 4th by 7 p.m.



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