Solid-state physics studies how macroscopic properties of solids (mechanical, electrical, optical, etc.) result from their microscopic structure. It usually deals with the scale where quantum properties of the particles are substantial.

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Density of States vs Dispersion

I have a rather naive question regarding DOS and dispersion. We showed the existence of a band gap in class for a small, periodic perturbation in class last week. When drawing this, the professor ...
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$c/a$ ratio for an ideal hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structure [on hold]

Show that the $c/a$ ratio for an ideal hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structure is $\left(\frac{8}{3}\right)^\frac{1}{2} = 1.633$. I believe $a$ is the length of $a_1$ and $a_2$. I figured that ...
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Why do some ionic compounds form in the NaCl structure vs the CsCl structure?

Everything else the same, I'd expect two monoatomic ions to form an ionic structure in the CsCl structure because with more atoms bonded to each atom, it would seem to be more stable. And yet I ...
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Thermal healing of defects in crystals

Thermal treatment can heal point defects due to the diffusion of atoms towards empty points. In a solid crystal structure, atoms do not diffuse at room temperature (correct?) Energy of thermal ...
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Does a conducting wire give off measurable radiation?

In the Drude model (semiclassical, but should still apply here I think), the conducting electrons are in a constant electric field, and, in between collisions with the lattice ions (that happen, on ...
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Diferrence between free electron and the electron in potential well [closed]

Can you tell me is there any difference free electrons and the electrons in potential well? Is there any energy difference between those two?
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Can someone explain LO-TO Splitting?

LO-TO splitting occurs in an ionic (i.e. polar) solid such as GaAs or NaCl. What happens is that the degeneracy of the transverse optical (TO) and longitudinal optical (LO) phonons at $k=0$ is broken ...
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How is Meissner effect explained by BCS theory?

Someone says we can derive the GL equations from BCS theory, which can explain Meissner effect, but I want a more clear physical picture of this phenomena.
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Does the real part of the inverse dielectric function have to be negative at some point for Cooper pairs to form?

Electrons naturally repel one another. However, in a superconductor, a phonon-mediated interaction causes the electrons to have a weak attractive interaction. Suppose that the interaction between two ...
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Volume of Brillouin zone is the same as Fourier primitive cell?

In Kittel's solid state text, problem 2.3, he says that the volume of the Brillouin zone is the same as a primitive parallelepiped in Fourier space. Somehow I can't see why this is true. Can someone ...
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How does a knife cut things at the atomic level?

As the title says. It is common sense that sharp things cut, but how do they work at the atomical level?
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Is there Johnson noise in superconductor?

For conductor, the Johnson Noise is $v_n = \sqrt { 4 k_B T R \Delta f }$. It is clear that the noise depends on $R$. I'm curious whether this noise will appear in supercondutor? That is for ...
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Problem with derivation of phonons in crystal

In this derivation of phonon solutions, everywhere, we are forcefully assuming the wavelike characteristics along the length of the chain. While all we can deduce for finding out the fundamental ...
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Why is the local work function so much lesser than Work Function?

I have been trying to understand the difference between the Work function of a metal and the Local Work Function. I did some experiments to find the Local Work function of Graphite using an STM and ...
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56 views

Photoelectric Effect - How are the electrons regained?

When the photons with enough energy impinge on a photocathode, it emits electrons. Does this mean that the solid will lose all its electron at one point? If not, how are electrons restored?
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If atoms have specific energy levels, why do opaque solids absorb all visible light, not just some? [duplicate]

Here's my question: if atoms have well defined energy levels and those differences correspond to the frequencies of light that can be absorbed, how is it that opaque objects absorb all or most visible ...
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Convention in physics for [],{} and operators (QM)

I got a little mixed up with the convention in physics. Usually a hat means an operator. For a given electron-ion Hamiltonian $\hat{H}_{e-n}$, what are the difference between these: 1) ...
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My model of Conductors in “static” condition - Please analyze

My textbook presents an idealization of a conductor as made up of infinitesimal units of charge and derives results. I was not convinced, so I started thinking of how electric fields are in real ...
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Electric Potential of Conductors

I understand that charges in a conductor reside on the surface of a conductor. So why is it that the neutral inside of a conductor and the charged surface are at the same potential?
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Energy of an Electron in a One Dimensional Periodic Potential

First, we consider the time independent Schrodinger equation of the form: $$\bigg(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{d^2}{dx^2}+u(x) \bigg)\phi_A(x)=E_A\phi_A(x)$$ Where $u(x)$ is a potential created by a ...
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About SU(2) gauge symmetry of the large U limit of the Hubbard model

I have been studying about the SU(2) symmetry in Heisenberg Hamiltonian with a paper 'SU(2) gauge symmetry of the large U limit of the Hubbard model' written by Ian Affleck et al(Phys. Rev. B 38, 745 ...
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17 views

Indirect band gap and additional momentum?

For indirect band gaps, an electron needs both energy and momentum in order to be excited from the conduction band. I am not sure I understand the momentum requirement. What does it mean physically? ...
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What exactly are crystal planes and how do they reflect x-rays?

What exactly are crystal planes and how do they reflect x-rays? Are crystal planes real physical planes or just an abstract concept? What are these planes made of? If they are an abstraction, what ...
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Crystal Momentum in a Periodic Potential

I'm working through some basic theory on periodic potentials, and I would appreciate help in understanding the crystal momentum. Suppose we have a Bravais lattice with lattice vectors $\textbf{R}$. ...
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37 views

Lattice geometry and dispersion relation

Is there a general theorem which gives some information about which influence have the lattice geometry (for example sub-lattice structure, square lattice, honeycomb lattice, lattice symmetries, ...) ...
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The conduction electrons in metals is a thermal phenomenon?

When applying an external electric field in a metal at absolute zero, there is electrical current? There must be thermal fluctuations in the electron's band to be occurs current?
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Jahn-Teller effect is based on the Born-Oppenheimer approximation?

I am now reading the quantum mechanics textbook by Landau and Lifshitz. In section 102, they discuss the Jahn-Teller effect. It seems that they assume the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. There is ...
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Diffusion and Drift currents in a PN junction

In a forward-biased PN junction, the potential barrier decreases, allowing more majority carriers from one side to diffuse to the other side where they are minority carriers. After they cross the ...
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XCrysDen Structure file

Does anyone know how to directly convert a .cif file to a Xcryden structure file(.xsf) ? I know how to extract the lattice vectors and the atom positions from a .cif file, but don't whether the .cif ...
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Why do people say “Bosons are either gapped or condensated, except physical principle protected cases (Goldstone boson, photon).”?

Bosons are either gapped or condensated, except physical principle protected cases (Goldstone boson, photon, etc.). I read this in a paper (version1 of http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.3728v1, 1st page 1st ...
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Interaction of solid objects and change of trajectory

I have two solid objects. Each of them has an arbitary complex surface, which is discribed by set of vertices. The aim is to describe their interaction, result of which is the change in trajectory of ...
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90 views

Bloch theorem, Energy, Free electron

I'm trying to learn on my own a bit of solid physics to tackle semiconductors afterwards. I'm struggling with the Energy versus $k$ diagrams for a free electron which shows that for a single value of ...
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80 views

What is the performance of a silicon crystal that makes it an essential component to computing

I'm on a thread of interest in the precise physics that allow the creation of the computing process. It began as a question posted in search of an understandable explanation of what physical form ...
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Why does inelastic X-ray scattering probe the longitudinal dielectric function as opposed to the transverse dielectric function?

Light is a transverse wave. Therefore, light in the optical range (i.e. visible light) couples to transverse collective excitations of a material when measuring the optical conductivity for instance. ...
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What are experimental techniques to probe band structure of solids?

What are experimental techniques to probe band structure of solids? I am not looking for exhaustive list. Few simple to understand techniques will suffice.
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How many of the 230 crystallographic groups are realized in nature?

All of them or only a subset? This is a famous and fundamental result in solid state physics.
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105 views

Ohm's Law: Drude Model

For a very long time now, I've been thinking about the Drude Model derivation of Ohm's Law. I know that a rigorous derivation requires a Quantum Mechanical approach. However, the mere fact that the ...
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P-N junction voltage under polarization

All the books that deal with the p-n junction under applied bias asume that the same equations used for the equilibrium case (no bias) can be used for the biased case provided that the juntcion ...
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Correlation in electron gas

In the textbooks that I read (namely Ashcroft/Mermin , Marder, etc.) it seems that a distinction is made between the correlations in electron gas and a Couloumb interaction between the electrons. What ...
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Thomas - Fermi screening

I read in Ashcroft & Mermin's Solid State text that for the Thomas-Fermi approximation to be applicable, the external potential needs to be "slowly varying," What does it mean for a function (in ...
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168 views

I don't get band structure of solids

If the energy levels of bound electrons are discrete, why do band structures in solids arise?
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Schottky Barrier - Why energy band levels at interface are assumed to remain the same that bulk

I have been chewing up some time ago the Schottky-Mott theory of Schottky Barrier height (which ignores the surface states). All the deduction seems to ground on fundamental thermodynamical principles ...
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How does the color of fine dispersed metal particles change between silver and black?

Small dispersed particles of metals are often black, while a solid object of the same material would be some shade of silver. The most notable example is the use of metallic silver as the black color ...
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Sold-State Band Structure - connection between Fermi Energy, Fermi Level and Work Fuction

I've been struggling with the concepts of these three terms - Fermi Energy, Fermi Level and work fuction. Now, I was given these definitions (in the context of semi-conductors): Fermi Level is the ...
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Why is effective mass of holes positive?

i am trying to understand this. I know that the effective mass of electrons or holes is calculated as: $$m^* = \frac{h^2}{(4\pi^2)\frac{d^2E}{dk^2}}$$ Now,if i look at this plot for example: I ...
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Why can we allow the speed of light being infinite in case of Surface Plasmons?

I have a problem with understanding of these sentences: We have indicated in the opening paragraph of the Introduction that surface plasmon polaritons are solutions of Maxwell’s equations in ...
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Why is the Hubbard model written down so late?

It is just the tight binding model plus on-site interaction. What prevented people from arriving at the Hubbard model?
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Why do we still get sharp scattering spots with quasi-crystal?

In a quasi-crystal, there is no translational invariance. This means there is no delta-function in the Fourier transform. But to get a sharp scattering spot, we need a delta function. Physically, ...
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Microscopic definition/expression of/for the heat current

Often I see the following microscopic definition/expression of/for a heat current due to an external field $$ {\bf j}_Q = 2 \int \frac{\text{d}{\bf k}}{(2\pi)^3} \frac{\hbar {\bf k}}{m} ...
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Is an object's color/shine/texture dependent on its electrons only? If electrons are same then why are there so many different colors?

when we look at an object be it a metal or a non-metal are we looking at its electrons only, so then if all electrons are same then why do different chemicals or elements or objects have different ...