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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
1answer
5k views

Why are some materials diamagnetic, others paramagnetic, and others ferromagnetic?

Why are some materials diamagnetic, others paramagnetic, and others ferromagnetic? Or, put another way, which of their atomic properties determines which of the three forms of magnetism (if at all) ...
7
votes
2answers
664 views

Quantum numbers and the band structure of solids

I got a question concerning the band strucutre of solids. The reference I'm using is the book on solid state physics by Ashcroft/Mermin. My problem is that I don't completely understand the reason ...
7
votes
0answers
940 views

Why do Fermi liquids have T^2 resistivity?

I have often read that metals that are Fermi liquids should have a resistivity that varies with temperature like $\rho(T) = \rho(0) + a T^2 $. I guess the $T^2$ part is the resistance due to ...
7
votes
0answers
220 views

Topological entanglement entropy only defined for a system in the ground state?

What happens to the topological entanglement entropy of a system, when it is driven out of its groundstate by increasing the temperature?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Nano-particle or Molecule?

What's the difference between something being labeled a "nano-particle" or it being called a "molecule"?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is Graphene Transparent?

Graphene is always in the news now a days and its key features are that it is; very strong, conductive and transparent. It is so transparent that each layer of graphene will only absorb 2% of Light ...
6
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Pn junction voltage drop?

This image from wikipedia, explains that there occurs a potential drop across a pn semiconductor junction, and an electric field confined to the depletion region. I already know the reason for the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Graphene +1 extra carbon bond

I'm not a physicist just a curious mind, so please go easy! I was just watching a BBC Horizon Documentary that featured a piece on the recently discovered material Graphene. One of the facts ...
6
votes
2answers
261 views

Are there solid materials with controllable porosity?

In analogy to piezoelectric materials, where the application of an electrical field creates mechanical deformation in the material, I have the following question. Are there solid materials whose ...
6
votes
1answer
801 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

When is use of the 'effective mass' concept appropriate?

In textbooks the characteristic length scale of an exciton, or an electron bound to dopant atom, in silicon is calculated by analogy to the vacuum case. Bohr radius in vacuum: $$a_0 = \frac{4 \pi ...
6
votes
1answer
316 views

Understanding electronic band structure diagrams

Currently I'm trying to understand electronic band structures such as depicted below: And following questions were arisen. Why are there multiple lines in valence side and conduction side? Where ...
6
votes
1answer
448 views

Are they the same thing: Wigner distribution in quantum Boltzmann equation and Wigner function in quantum optics?

We know that quantum Boltzmann equation (QBE) is an equation of motion for the interacting Green's function $G^<(\vec{x}_1,t_1;\vec{x}_2,t_2)\equiv\mathrm{i}\langle ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

Real and imaginary parts of dielectric constant vs refractive index?

So for a complex dielectric constant $\epsilon = \epsilon_a + i\epsilon_b$, the wave vector and index of refraction are related to it through $k = \frac{\omega}{c}n$ and $n = \sqrt{\frac{\mu ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

The definition of Density of States

The density of states (DOS) is generally defined as $D(E)=\frac{d\Omega(E)}{dE}$, where $\Omega(E)$ is the number of states. But why DOS can also be defined using delta function, as ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is glass a good conductor of heat?

AFAIK Glass is insulator, it doesn't have free electron. It's said metal is a good conductor of heat because it has free electron, glass doesn't have free electron, why it is a good conductor of heat? ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

Is the thermal conductivity of metals affected by magnetic fields?

Especially for a ferromagnet a magnetic field should have a field-induced band shift in the density of states but I wonder if this shift is big enough to be significant and affect the thermal ...
6
votes
2answers
119 views

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?
6
votes
2answers
339 views

Change of basis in non-linear Schrodinger equation

At the mean-field level, the dynamics of a polariton condensate can be described by a type of nonlinear Schrodinger equation (Gross-Pitaevskii-type), for a classical (complex-number) wavefunction ...
6
votes
3answers
472 views

Are electronic wavefunctions in band gap insulators localized? is a single-particle picture sufficient in this case?

I am having trouble understanding the physics of band gap insulators. Usually in undergrad solid state physics one looks at non-interacting electrons in a periodic potential, with no disorder. Then, ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Temperature dependence of resistivity in metals

We know that in high temperature, resistivity in metals goes linearly with temperature. As temperature is lowered, resistivity goes first as $T^5$ due to "electron-phonon" interaction, and then goes ...
6
votes
4answers
207 views

Is differential geometry used in solid state?

I'm an undergraduate in physics interested in a career in solid state. While I know that any additional math is helpful--I am on time constraints, and can only take a few supplemental classes. That ...
6
votes
1answer
164 views

Real part of the AC conductivity has a discrete spectrum => What physics?

If the real part of the AC conductivity $\text{Re}[\sigma(\omega)]$ has a discrete spectrum only, i.e., $\text{Re}[\sigma(\omega)]=a_1\delta(\omega-\omega_1)+a_2\delta(\omega-\omega_2)+\cdots,$ what ...
6
votes
1answer
870 views

The skin effect and the reflectivity of gold

I am simulating a waveguide in COMSOL, a FEM solver. My model looks like this (it is similar to a standard Quantum Cascade Laser geometry): Therefore there is a very thin (30nm) layer of gold ...
6
votes
1answer
82 views

Reduce integration over crystal to integration over unit cell

I am wondering when I can reduce integrals over a periodic crystal to a an integral over the unit cell. Especially I consider the following two-electron integral $$ I=\langle \varphi_i \varphi_j | V | ...
6
votes
0answers
171 views

Finding difficulties in taking continuum limit in nonlinear sigma model

I am learning nonlinear sigma model from Assa Auerbach's book "Interacting Electrons and Quantum Magnetism" and getting some difficulties in taking continuum limit. I am following chapter 12: The ...
5
votes
2answers
909 views

What prevents bosons from occupying the same location?

The Pauli exclusion principle states that no two fermions can share identical quantum states. Bosons, one the other hand, face no such prohibition. This allows multiple bosons to essentially occupy ...
5
votes
3answers
471 views

Proof of existence of lowest temperature $0 K$

Im mathematics there is a concept of infinity meaning that whenever you pick a number and say that it is the smallest/Largest there is a way to further reduce/increase that number by ...
5
votes
4answers
466 views

How does current flow in superconductors if Cooper pairs have zero momentum?

I've been reading a lot of condensed matter textbooks, which state both that the net momentum of a Cooper pair in a superconductor is zero, and that Cooper pairs have momentum when they carry current. ...
5
votes
2answers
317 views

Why are most ferromagnets metals while antiferromagnets are insulators?

This seems to be experimentally true, but I don't quite have an intuition as to why. In the Ising model, we usually consider an insulating ferromagnet if $J>0$, where $J$ is the exchange coupling. ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between a photon and a phonon?

More specifically, how does a wave-particle duality differ from a quasiparticle/collective excitation? What makes a photon a gauge boson and a phonon a Nambu–Goldstone boson?
5
votes
1answer
240 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
9k views

Difference between steady state and equilibrium?

In semiconductor physics, what is the difference between steady state and equilibrium. How analysis of devices varies in these processes?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do some things crystallize? (And others don't, for that matter.)

Ice, for example, will form a crystal when frozen under certain circumstances. Why is this the case for ice? While on the subject of water crystallization, why do snowflakes usually form in base 6 ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

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?
5
votes
1answer
962 views

What is the state of matter of a (solid) yogurt?

Maybe this is a silly question, but I'm not quite sure. Consider a solid yogurt. Can we assign a specific state of matter to it? I mean, it behaves like solid. However, if we "mix" it with a spoon, ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Origin of High-temperature Superconductivity

What is the mechanism that causes certain materials to exhibit superconductivity at temperatures much higher than around 25 kelvin?
5
votes
1answer
631 views

Can Ohm's law break in metals?

I was rereading Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism as research for another question, and I found this passage: In metals Ohm's law is obeyed exceedingly accurately up to current densities far ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

The Spectral Function in Many-Body Physics and its Relation to Quasiparticles

recently, I stumbled accross a concept which might be very helpful understanding quasiparticles and effective theories (and might shed light on an the question How to calculate the properties of ...
5
votes
1answer
602 views

How to calculate the properties of Photon-Quasiparticles

in recent questions like "How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)?" and "Do photons gain mass when they travel through glass?" we could learn something about effective ...
5
votes
1answer
475 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
912 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

Optical absorption — what are the common ranges and mechanisms?

So let's say you do some reflection/transmission spectroscopy of a material. It's clear that it's absorbing in some range. What would be your first step in identifying the source of the absorption? ...
5
votes
1answer
550 views

Divergent issue of Madelung's constant

This is a question triggered by this post Madelung's constant is defined to the coefficient of electrostatic potential energy in a ionic crystal. In the example of $NaCl$, \begin{equation} M = ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

Meaning of the 'deep lattice limit' and 'shallow lattice limit'?

In condensed matter literature, at many places, the phrase 'deep lattice limit' is used. Please tell what is the deep lattice limit and the shallow lattice limit?
5
votes
1answer
568 views

What is the difference between spin glass and spin liquid?

What is the difference between spin glass and spin liquid? Do they both originate from frustration?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Tight Binding Model in Graphene

I'm following a calculation done by a guy who's done it a bit different than what I've done before (used nearest neighbour vectors and a DFT instead of what I will show below), I'm not quite sure how ...
5
votes
3answers
247 views

Mobile “muonic hydrogen”

If we look at the atomic positions in a single crystal sample with a diamond like lattice, there exist directions along which there are long hexagonal "tubes" (I'm not sure if these have a proper ...