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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Bragg diffraction and lattice planes

Crystalline substances show, for certain sharply defined wavelength and incident directions, very sharp peaks of scattered X-ray radiation. From the illustration below we see that we get constructive ...
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Is the ferromagnetism of iron understood completely?

In Feynman's lecture notes, he said that it is not (at his time). How is the situation today? Can first-principle calculation accounts the ferromagnetism of iron quantitatively now?
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Most atoms have a nonzero magnetic moment, right?

This is my feeling. But more is different. If atoms form a solid, it is hard to say whether the solid will be ferromagnetic or not.
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What is difference and linkage between power law of phase transition in physics and Zipf law in linguistics

There are power law of phase transition in physics and Zipf law in linguistics which are similiar to each other ,and some expert think they are in fact just the same.But the diagrams of them base on ...
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Extrinsic Photoconductor Charge Carriers

I'm studying some materials on semiconductors, and a section on photoconductivity has left me somewhat confused. In an extrinsic material, is photoconductivity the result of electrons moving from the ...
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24 views

Magnetic moment with external magnetic field on a lattice?

Consider a system in which atoms are located in a regular lattice, each atom having a spin $1/2$ and an associated intrinsic magnetic moment $\mu_0>0$. Assume that each atom interacts only weakly ...
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How to isolate and verify the source of optical absorption/effects?

This is similar to my other question, but not the same -- that one was about the energy ranges of various absorption mechanisms, and this one is more about experimental techniques to find them. Let's ...
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60 views

the properties of the most important semiconductors depend on the crystalline structure of the host

I'm an undergraduate physics student currently studying for the Solid State Physics Exam. This is the introductory paragraph of Chapter 1 from "Introduction to Solid State Physics" by Charles Kittel: ...
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43 views

What does it mean for electrons to be “diffusive”?

I'm reading this paper and it has the line (end of 3rd paragraph, page 2): It turns out that the simple fact that electrons are diffusive instead of freely propagating leads to a profound ...
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Is every material able to exist in every state of matter?

I was shocked while reading Kittel's "Introduction to Solid State Physics", that the solid state of noble gases is a well described and makes one of the fundamental achievements of solid state ...
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22 views

The speed of electrons moving in different medium

Can one have a simple (dimensional-analysis) model to evaluate the speed of electrons moving in: (1) a copper wire (2) a silver wire (3) a gold wire (4) a semiconductor wire let's use meter over ...
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58 views

Coulomb potential in atoms other than hydrogen

The energy of an electron on $H$ atom is given by the formula: $-13.6 \; \text{eV}/n^2$. The constant value is born from $H$ dielectric constant and efective mass of the electron. My question is: ...
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49 views

Inverse of a series (solid state)

I am working with the expression involving the equilibrium displacement ($y_n$) for the $n$th particle in a 1D harmonic lattice in terms of the normal modes coordinates $A_k$. Let me show you the ...
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Excitons in metals-do they exist?

Recently I red an article "Surface Enhanced Fluorescence". It is a topical review by Emmanuel Fort and Samuel Gresillon. Here it is: ...
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193 views

Numerical analytic continuation for Green's function

Recently, I happened to hear about the possibility of doing analytic continuation numerically. That sounds attractive for the ubiquitous $\mathrm{i}\omega_n\rightarrow\omega+\mathrm{i}0^+$ procedure, ...
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29 views

Why do pores make ceramic opaque?

I want to know how a ceramic transparency is mostly affected by the pores, grain boundary, second phases etc. present inside of it, but the major contribution is due to the pores. Let's consider the ...
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449 views

Is it more efficient to stack two Peltier modules or to set them side by side?

Is it more efficient to stack two Peltier modules or to set them side by side? And why? I have a small box that I want to cool down about 20 K below ambient -- cold, but not below freezing. (I want ...
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Why are the bounds to the permittivity $\epsilon$ a circular arc in the complex plane?

I'm reading this paper which is essentially about connecting the complex permittivity $\epsilon$ with the microstructure of a thin film. They talk about how you can place limits on the possible values ...
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Are there materials that get softer with temperature decrease?

Could be there material that begins melting/softening when it's temperature is lowered? I would say no, but I've seen enough physics to know that not always life is so easy. Moreover I think I've ...
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Energy of one-electron state $E(k) \sim k^2$ “$\implies$” occupied region in $k$-space indistinguishable from sphere

When we consider a system of $N\gg 1$ one-electrons the occupied region in $k$-space is stated to be indistinguishable from a sphere, since the energy of a one-electron level is directly proportional ...
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64 views

Hamiltonian for the Periodic Kitaev Model

The Hamiltonian for a system of spinless fermions on a 1D chain (with chemical potential $\mu=0$) is given by $$ H=-\sum_j\left( c^\dagger_{j+1} c_j+h.c.\right)+\Delta \sum_j \left( ...
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68 views

What “propagates” a force through the rest of a solid?

So, in typing the title of this question I was recommended this awesome one, which confirmed my guess that this effect "propagates" at the speed of sound (though I just had a feeling, I don't really ...
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Two-Dimensional Tight-Binding Dispersion Relation

As in my last post, I am doing out a calculation in Giamarchi's Many-Body text: http://dpmc.unige.ch/gr_giamarchi/Solides/Files/many-body.pdf. This time, I am going through the derivation of the ...
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On the lattice structures of graphite

My question is the following: What causes graphite to have either a cubic lattice structure or a hexagonal lattice structure? Does it depend on how it is grown? Or is it a random process? I would ...
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In k$\cdot$p theory, how does one calculate the bulk inversion asymmetry coefficients given in table 6.3 in Winkler?

In k$\cdot$p theory, how does one calculate the bulk inversion asymmetry coefficients given in table 6.3 in Winkler? Winkler's book on spin-orbit coupling effects is available free online. In ...
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What is the phenomenological logic behind Fermi liquid theory

I am a super beginner when it comes to Solid State Physics and when wanting to learn more on the subject, I end up reading on Landau's Fermi liquid theory that supposedly justifies the quasi-free ...
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Which metal will be on the surface after solidification?

I know that there are some metals that just "like" to be on a surface, so if I make an alloy of such metal and some other metal, the first one will be on the surface after solidification of initially ...
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Creep of materials at atomic/molecular level under stresses

Do the viscoelastic materials creep at the same rate under three types of fundamental stresses, viz.- TENSION, COMPRESSION and SHEAR??? My intuition tells me that the answer is no. But, I can't get ...
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How to easily calculate lengths (or relative lengths) of paths between symmetry points in BZ

I am trying to easily calculate the length between special kpoints within the BZ of the 32 point groups in a crystal system. I am calculating the lengths in order to scale k point sampling along these ...
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144 views

Plotting a bandstructure along High-symmetry points when kx,ky,kz is known

Suppose you know kx,ky,kz points along with the corresponding energies. Basically, you know about the 4-D E(k) dispersion. How you do then convert that data into the bandstructure plots you commonly ...
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Relationship between Polarizability and Conductivity

I've seen in the literature the relation: $\sigma (q,\omega) = \frac{i e^2 \omega}{q^2}\chi(q,\omega)$ where $\sigma$ is the conductivity and $\chi$ the polarizability. However my attempt to derive ...
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53 views

What are hot electrons?

What are they? How are they created? And what do they have to do with plasmons? I searched the web, but I would like more reliable and straightforward sources.
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Optical mode leakage through a layer of gold

The geometry of my semiconductor device is given below. The blue regions are gold, the grey ones - gallium arsenide (n-doped to $2.9 \times 10^{15} \mathrm{cm^{-3}}$). The dimensions are μm, i.e. it ...
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Should Brillouin zone be a continuous object rather than a discrete one in the thermodynamic limit?

For example, just consider a 1D atom chain with $N$ sites and lattice constant $a=2\pi$, under periodic boundary conditions, the crystal momentum reads as $k=\frac{n}{N}\frac{2\pi}{a}=\frac{n}{N}$, ...
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Interpreting current in a material as a Stark effect

I apologize if my question is silly but here it is. In the physics of atoms and molecules, we learn about the Stark effect which induces a splitting of degenerate energy levels into sub-energy levels ...
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92 views

Kronig-Penney model

I am studying the Kronig-Penney model as treated in the book by Kittel: Introduction to Solid State Physics. In this model one considers a period potential which is zero in the region $[0,a]$ ...
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Bloch's theorem

I am studying Bloch's theorem, which can be stated as follows: The eigenfunctions of the wave equation for a period potential are the product of a plane wave $e^{ik \cdot r}$ times a modulation ...
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51 views

Relative change in drift velocity

Consider an ensemble of electrons which all experienced a collision at time $t=0$. Let $n(t)$ denote the number of electrons in this ensemble. Assume that the number of electrons $\mathrm{d}n$ from ...
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50 views

How does band gap vary with the cell volume?

How does band gap vary with the cell volume? is there a relation? If the volume is compressed, the interaction between atoms would be more, therefore the perturbation is higher hence the splitting ...
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What is the Fermi energy of (undoped) graphene?

All of the sources I have found for this online have been wildly unclear. Many use the phrase "Fermi energy" to refer to the "Fermi level" (which is emphatically not what I'm looking for; I want the ...
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Why does the n=0 Landau level in graphene have half the degeneracy of the other levels?

I've looked through several papers that talk about the anomalous integer quantum Hall effect of graphene (such as http://journals.aps.org/prl/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.146801), and they all state ...
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80 views

How to calculate energy in two-band Hubbard model

It might be a very easy question for you, but I am confused and I need helps. In the simplest Hubbard model at one-dimensional lattice, I ignore the $U$ term and only remain the hopping term. ...
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The velocity of sound in terms of Fermi velocity

Assume this question: In a simple model of a monovalent metal consisting of point positive ion cores embedded in a uniform jellium of electrons, a value for the average energy for electron is: $$E = ...
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115 views

What does “optical conductivity” mean?

Does it just mean "AC electric conductivity"? If so, why have a special name for it, and why mention optical specifically? The wikipedia page on it is very sparse. This (warning, PDF) document just ...
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PDE from London's Equation with Cylindrical Symmetry

The question is from ISSP by Kittel and as follows: (a)Find a solution of the London equation that has cylindrical symmetry and applies outside a line core. In cylindrical polar coordinates, we want ...
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116 views

Why a mono-atomic crystal layer (2D) can't be stable?

According to Peierls and Landau, 2D crystals were thermodynamically unstable. They can't exist! Of course, this theory was disapproved in 2004 (example: graphene). What is the general definition of ...
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What is $\epsilon_\infty$ in this equation and why can it be neglected in the IR?

I'm reading this paper (warning, PDF) and they mention that the complex permittivity $\epsilon$ and complex conductivity $\sigma$ are related through the equation $$\epsilon - \epsilon_\infty = (4\pi ...
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Compressibility of solids (quadratic approximation)

(according to Steven H. Simon's "The Oxford Solid State Basics") A well-known approach to describe a one-dimensional chain of atoms is to approximate the potential of each of the atoms quadratically: ...
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Force constant of metals - Kohn anomaly

In Introduction to Solid State Physics (Kittel), it assumed the force constant between plane $s$ and $s+p$ $C_p=A\frac{\sin pk_0a}{pa}$ in metals to represent a Kohn anomaly. It says such a form is ...
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Why does the Fermi Surface cross the Brillouin zone boundary at right angles?

I'm not sure why the fermi surface crosses the Brillouin zone boundary at right angles. I understand that this is normally the case, but not necessarily always. I'm aware that the fermi surface is a ...