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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Definition of a semiconductor

Originally I had learned that solids are split into two categories: isolators/semiconductors, and metals. The fundamental difference between the two is the existence of a bandgap. Metals don't have ...
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Thermal conductivities of the phonon and electron gases

From my lecture notes I have the following relations: High Temp: Phonon gas $\kappa \propto 1/T$ Electron gas $\kappa \propto 1/T$ Low Temp: Phonon gas $\kappa \propto T^3$ Electron gas $\kappa ...
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Does it make sense to define the mean free path in quantum mechanics?

The mean free path defined in classical molecule dynamics has a strong classical flavor. Is it sensible to generalize the idea to quantum mechanics?
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Can one calculate the electric conductivity of iron?

Iron is a commonplace material. It is common knowledge that it conducts. Is it possible to accurately calculate the electric conductivity of iron? With what kind of method? Up to what precision?
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scaling theory of Anderson localization

Initially, Anderson studied the eigenstates of the tight-binding Hamiltonian $$ H = \sum_n \epsilon_n a_n^\dagger a_n + V \sum_{m,n} a_m^\dagger a_n . $$ His question was whether the eigenstates ...
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233 views

Why is Terahertz radiation so hard to generate?

This paper (and many others I've read) claim that searching for ways of producing THz radiation is a high-interest research topic. However, something I've just never understood is why it's so hard ...
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Why is the density of states in k-space constant?

Why are the allowed states in k-space equidistant in every direction? As a consequence of this, a DOS of $\frac{V}{(2\pi)^3}$ is obtained in 3D for phonons, $2 \cdot \frac{V}{(2\pi)^3}$ for electrons ...
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Vortex-domain wall co-excitation

Both vortices (or disclinations) and domain walls are possible topological defects in a spin system with frustration, but I did't find reference about the interaction of these two. Do any stackers ...
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38 views

Measurement of the dispersion relation in a crystal: Inelastic neutron scattering

Is the analyzer in the thees axes spectrometer just another monochromator? If we can measure the energy of the neutrons after scattering with a detector, why do we need the analyzer?
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28 views

Mott's conjecture about NiO verified or not?

Mott in his 1949 paper, said: ''On the view explained above, therefore, if a substance such as NiO were subjected to very high pressure it should suddenly show metallic conduction for some value of ...
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What are the Fermi and Debye temperature constants?

What are the Fermi temperature and Debye temperature constants? We were discussing these in class and I don't fully understand what these constants are or why we have them. Can anyone explain?
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What do we get from the diagonalization of the $k\cdot p$ matrix?

In k.p theory, we expand the wave function around a known point ${\bf k}_0$ $$u_{\lambda}({\bf k})=\sum_{\nu} c_{\lambda,\nu}({\bf k})u_{\nu}({\bf k}_0).$$ If we now consider 8 bands (conduction, ...
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What is an off-axis peak in x-ray diffractometry?

I'm looking at a $\theta$ - 2$\theta$ pattern of my thin film which in bulk is cubic (bcc) and I see 001 and 002 peaks of the film. There is supposed to be a tetragonal distortion meaning that I need ...
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126 views

What intermediate steps of the Dirac Delta Function and Fourier Series am I missing in finding a solution to the Kronig-Penney Model?

Intro We're looking at the Kronig-Penney model in class and one of the conundrums is related to the Kronig-Penney potential for a chain of $N$ atoms. I'm supposed to squeeze out some expression for ...
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How far away are we from a UV LED operating at around 100nm?

So far, we are down to around 250nm for UV LEDs. If I could get one at around 100nm that would ionize air I would find it very useful. Any ideas on whether this wavelength is feasible for a LED?
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Silicon: conduction band minima

Why do the energetic minima of the silicon conduction band lie not in a high-symmetry point like a $X$-point, but somewhere in $\Delta$-direction between points $\Gamma$ and $X$? What is the physical ...
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Can ice freeze? [closed]

We know that ice is already the frozen (solid) form of water. The question is more like: Can this frozen form freeze further? Or can it become more solid? (for example, by exposing to colder ...
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Peierls substitution vs minimal coupling

In the presence of vector potential (let's assume it's uniform), a tight-binding Hamiltonian will be changed according to the Peierls substitution: $t_{ij}c_i^{\dagger}c_j \to ...
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28 views

Multiple Bandgaps

I'm going through solid state physics' models chronologically and I've reached the Bloch theory, which is after Sommerfeld's quantum mechanical version of the Drude model with an added infinitely deep ...
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63 views

Density of state vs energy

Please bear me for this naive question. In the definition of density of state in 3D we know that DOS $\rho(E)$ varies as $E^{\frac{1}{2}}$ i.e as energy increase it should increase. But when I see ...
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How does magnetic field leverage exchange interaction?

A 1 Tesla magnetic field corresponds to the energy of less than a millielectronvolt. However, fields of that order seem to saturate the magnetization of many solids, be they ferromagnets or ...
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53 views

Quantum Theory of Paramagnetism

The energy levels of the system in a magnetic field are $$ \ (1) \ U=-\vec \mu \cdot \vec B$$ As per the Kittel's Solid State physics which has confused me since, Now, $$ \ \ \ \ \ (2) \ ...
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Why is Bose-Einstein condensation a phase transition?

Bosons may succumb to a Bose-Einstein condensation at a certain critical temperature $T_c$, thus entering the BEC phase. The only thing I know about the BEC is that since we are talking about bosons ...
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Device design regarding recombination mechanisms

While in a LED radiative recombination is desired, in a solar cell no type of recombination is favourable. How are the different recombination mechanisms controlled? SRH is pretty straightforward ...
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how current is produced in semiconductors or metals?

I think current is movement of electrons through the wire or semiconductor, thus when I press the switch of the light bulb the electrons go from positive part to tungsten and light is produced. ...
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127 views

Why does a half filled Brillouin zone result in conductivity?

As stated in the title, why does a half filled Brillouin zone result in an element being a conductor, or conversely, why does a filled Brillouin zone result in an insulator?
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Need help visualizing a conceptual problem; solid mechanics 1

When the instructor posed this problem to the class, no one could answer the question because we all had difficulty 'seeing' what was happening. I get that because they're different materials, the ...
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Why are $2\pi$ factors included in the definition of the reciprocal lattice?

I would like to know where the $2\pi$ factors are coming from in the formula for reciprocal vectors in reciprocal lattices. For example, in a simple cubic lattice the primitive vectors are given by ...
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Intuitive explanation for the space-dimension dependence of the density of states of a free electron gas

If the Schrödinger Equation is solved in different dimensions for an independent electron in an infinitely high potential, different relations are obtained regarding the DOS. These are: 0D: $D(E) ...
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62 views

Work function definition

As in this post How would I calculate the work function of a metal, the definition is given by "the minimum thermodynamic work (i.e. energy) needed to remove an electron from a solid to a point in the ...
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Why is graphene robust, but graphite not?

Graphite can be thought of as various layers of graphene mounted on top of each other. Graphene is known to be as robust as diamonds, yet graphite can be found in pencils and we all know from ...
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Proof that all primitive cells have the same size

A primitive cell of a crystal lattice is a set $A$ such that two copies of $A$ which are translated by a lattice vector do not overlap and such that $A$ tiles the entire crystal. I have read (for ...
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FCC lattice as a stack of triangular lattices

According to Marder, Condensed Matter Physics, Chapter 2: Within the planes normal to the vector [1,1,1], the atoms of an fcc lattice lie in a two dimensional triangular lattice However, he does ...
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Difference between adsorption and condensation

So I just stumbled across the Wikipedia article on adsorption - and I asked myself, if there is a difference between (physical) adsorption and condensation on a surface? When I look at the water ...
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Is there an intuitive reason for why the reciprocal lattice of FCC is BCC and vice versa?

This can be proved using formulae for generating reciprocal lattice vectors from direct lattice vectors. But does this result have more to it than meets the eye?
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How to prove Bloch function is periodic in reciprocal lattice?

How to prove Bloch function is periodic in reciprocal lattice? I saw in some textbooks this formula: $$ \Psi_{\mathbf{k}} (\mathbf{r}) = \sum_{\mathbf{G}} ...
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Why is temperature vibration?

Why do the atoms in a crystal vibrate at finite temperature?
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Can the Fermi level go above the conduction band energy if doped heavily enough?

So for n-type Si with donor density $N_d$ and donor energy level $E_d$, $N_d^+ = N_d(1+\frac{1}{1+e^{\beta (E_d - E_f)}/2})$ is the number of ionized donors, so we get an relation between the number ...
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Why is the k=0 phonon neglected when calculating Debye-Waller factor?

When calculating Debye-Waller factor one gets the form: $e^{-2W} = ...
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Effective mass vs. cyclotron mass of carriers (e.g. in graphene)

Since my original question (below) didn't get any answers (maybe it's to specific?), I'd like to rephrase to make it more general. What is the relation between the effective mass and the cyclotron ...
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Chemical potential and origin of pressure in a solid

Pressure of a gas is related to the rate of change of momentum of the particles; the temperature is the mean kinetic energy of the particles. Can the chemical potential be given a similar physical ...
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Goldstone modes of spin density wave

A spin density wave (SDW) is a phase in which a material suddenly shows a periodically modulated spin density $S_{\vec{q}}(\vec{r}) $ below a certain critical tempereature $T_C$. Obviously some kind ...
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Are the 14 Bravais lattices really distinct?

I have learned that there are 14 distinct Bravais lattices in 3D and any other thought lattice form could be reduced to or expressed in one of these 14 forms. But the primitive unit cell for f.c.c ...
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What are the possible reasons of deviation from Curie Weiss behavior well above Tc?

I think existence of other weak interactions which have higher transition temperature than the observed prominent interaction(ferro/antiferro) can perhaps lead to such result but I am confused when ...
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What material could be used to study magnetic phase transitions in a college laboratory exercise?

I am working to develop a simple laboratory exercise in solid state physics to be conducted by fourth year students of physics. The idea of the exercise is for the student to get some experience in ...
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Why is conductivity isotropic in a plane perpendicular to the z-axis of a tetragonal crystal?

Considering the symmetry of a tetragonal crystal, how can it be proved that conductivity is isotropic in a plane perpendicular to the z-axis?
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How to find dispersion relation for 1 d topological insulator?

Is it correct to write the dispersion relation for following Hamiltonian where $\sigma_{x}$ act in spin space and $\tau_{x}$ acts in pseudo spin particle hole spin $H_{BdG} (k)=(\xi_{k}+B\sigma_{x}+u ...
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69 views

$T$-invariant Hamiltonians

If $T$ is time-reversal transformation $t\mapsto -t$, Why do $T$-invariant Bloch Hamiltonians obey $$H(-k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ and not $$H(k) = T H(k) T^{-1}$$ Somehow I understand the word "invariant" ...
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Trace part of Hamiltonian

Given an electron in one discrete dimension, the Hamiltonian is given by $H_{n,n'}\in Mat_{N\times N}\left(\mathbb{C}\right)$ acting on $l^2\left(\mathbb{C}^N\right)$ where $N$ is some integer ...
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How quickly is motion transferred in a solid object?

Just for example: assume an iron bar one foot in length. If you push on one end, the entire bar will move. This seems instantaneous. but actually, from my understanding, the atoms all push against ...