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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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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Why doesn't topological phase transition break any symmetry? Hidden symmetry?

This question may be superficial. However why all people saying this without a proof? Just like the "hidden variables" assumption in quantum mechanics, can one disproof that there is no hidden ...
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126 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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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 ...
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162 views

maximum positive electric charge of solid body

What are the limiting factors on the positive charge of a solid body? If I assume a 'perfect insulator' environment that would not exchange charge with my solid body, I would guess that I can remove ...
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51 views

Is the superconducting current made up of Cooper pairs?

Inside the superconductor it should be $\mu_0\mathbf{j} = \mathbf{\nabla} \times \mathbf{B} = 0$, since B is 0 due to the Messner effect. This means that the current is carried by the surface. But ...
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195 views

Chronological and normal ordering

I've realized I'm little bit confused when I want to treat elements like this $$\left<\phi_0|T\{a_p(t)a_p^+(t')V(t_1)V(t_2)\}|\phi_0\right>$$ with $$V(t)=\dfrac12 \dfrac{1}{(2\pi ...
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523 views

Topological insulators - Surface states have a phase?

When I look at the circle of the Dirac cone around the Dirac point of, let's say, $Bi_2Se_3$, then the electron winds around and it is true that it goes from momentum $-k$ and spin-up to $+k$ and ...
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419 views

How is a Majorana fermion created when a s-wave superconductors is in proximity to a topological insulator (e.g. via an antidot)

Kane and Fu proposed a few geometries how to create Majorana zero modes using a s-wave superconductor in proximity to a 3D topological insulator (TI). -> ...
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2k 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 ...
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1k views

The Difference between Thomas-Fermi Screening and Lindhard Screening

Assuming the general theory of screening related to electron-electron interactions, I was wondering if anyone could provide a clear, yet conceptually complete explanation of the differences between ...
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889 views

Can surface dipoles/charges change the work function of a metal?

As typically drawn in simplified band diagrams (see picture below), the metal Fermi Level is shown as the top of the conduction band, with the entire band filled. In many situations, including ...
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517 views

How does thermal broadening of the Fermi Function cause electron coherence loss?

Generally, there are two ways for electrons to lose their wave-like properties in a solid material. One is by way of collisions that cause changes in the energy and momentum of the electron. The other ...
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286 views

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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258 views

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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277 views

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 ...
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643 views

What is an electron/hole pocket and what is the significance?

What is an electron/hole pocket and what is the significance? I'm trying to get my head around this. I've read what Ashcroft and Mermin have to say on the subject, but it's a little convoluted. They ...
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208 views

How do I calculate integral analytically for small $k$?

In a Heisenberg antiferromagnet, the dispersion relation is \begin{equation} \omega_{\mathbf{k}} =JSz\sqrt{ 1-\gamma_{\mathbf{k}}^2} \end{equation} where ...
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904 views

Relation between density and refractive index of medium

Is there any relation between Refractive index and density of a material? It is not found to be proportional in my experimental results. Is there any equation to relate these parameters?
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441 views

In what way do Cooper pairs of electrons bond and stay bonded in superconductors?

I understand how electrons initially move into another's vicinity, but nowhere can I find a fathomable answer to this. Also, does the pairs forming 'a condensate' mean a Bose-Einstein condensate?
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509 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 ...
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279 views

Why isn't there a potential difference across a disconnected diode?

I know this question sounds silly, as if there was a potential difference a current would be created when the terminals are connected together and this would mean energy has come from somewhere. The ...
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108 views

Electron degeneracy pressure

Why is it that in stars undergoing gravitational collapse electron degeneracy kicks in? Why couldn't the electrons form energy bands like in semiconductors?
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Why can we quantize macro(meso)scopic harmonic oscillator?

It is well known that we have got many kinds of quantized macro(meso)scopic harmonic oscillators or so in tiny mechanical systems. People are talking about cavity cooling and so on. However, it is ...
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225 views

Anisotropic refractive index with isotropic components?

In relation to my question here I wanted to make sure that my physical argument was not flawed. Anisotropic properties, (especially refractive index) is characteristic of a well-ordered solid ...
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840 views

Need help understanding Semiconductor physics

I am trying to read Kittel for a project, and he mentions the properties on silicon and germanium so briefly, that I don't understand it at all. He talks about p states, and I don't really know what ...
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101 views

Is diffraction through an aperture similar to diffraction by a plane of atoms?

I'm asking because I have a problem asking me what the diffraction pattern would be if instead of spherical atoms I'd have triangular atoms. I can't find anything about this in my X-ray diffraction ...
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335 views

What is crystal field anisotropy or effect ? It forces the magnetic moment to point in particular local direction..

Can you give a basic explanation of what is crystal field anisotropy ? What is the reason to arise ? In spin ice it forces the dipoles to point in the local 111 direction. For partially filled rare ...
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170 views

What is the mass of the emergent magnetic monopoles in spin ice and how is the mass of an emergent particle determined?

In solid state physics emergent particles are very common. How one determines if they are gap-less excitations? Do the defects in spin ice called magnetic monopoles have mass? What is the mass of ...
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What is injection level (semiconductor physics)?

I am currently reading journal articles about semiconductor physics in solar cells. What is injection level? I'll try to start off with what I understand. Photons hitting the silicon cause its ...
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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 ...
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71 views

How can one reasonably theoretically model polycrystalline materials?

Many techniques are taught in advanced solid state courses but they are almost all derived for perfectly crystalline materials. For example, band structure really only appears theoretically when you ...
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184 views

In a positively biased PN junction, where do the injection carriers come from?

I am not quite understand i-v character of PN-junction diode. Here is the model in textbook. The PN junction diode can be divided into three regions. They are One depletion region near the PN ...
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653 views

Paramagnetism Spin-1/2 Particles - Partition Function

I'm trying to come up with an expression for the partition function of a system of spin-1/2 ideal gas particles on a line of length $L$. The total number of particles $N$ is fixed, with $N = ...
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168 views

Do indirect optical transitions “cool” the material a little?

So I'm reading in Ashcroft and Mermin about indirect optical transitions: So, a photon comes in, and it only excites the electron across the indirect band gap if a phonon with the appropriate wave ...
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83 views

Where to learn Temperature Dependent Conductivity induced by Electron-Phonon Interaction? [closed]

I want to learn how to calculate the temperature dependent conductivity induced by electron-phonon interaction. I know in low temperature, the resistance in metal $\rho$ is proportional to $T^5$, $T$ ...
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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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710 views

Sign of the hopping integral in tight binding model

The Hamiltonian of tight binding model reads $H=-|t|\sum\limits_{<i,j>}c_i^{\dagger}c_j+h.c.$, why is there a negative sign in the hopping term?
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Why electrons are relativistic in Graphene and non relativistic in vacuum?

If a free region in space has a potential difference of one volt, an electron in this region will acquire kinetic energy of 1 eV. Its speed will be much smaller than the speed of light hence it will ...
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311 views

Why is a critical system equal to a gapless system?

In condensed matter physics, people often say that a system without energy gap is a critical system. What does it mean? Any help is appreciated!
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Why is copper diamagnetic?

Cu has an unpaired electron in 4s, but it is diamagnetic. I thought that it has to be paramagnetic. What am I missing?
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Do we say that phonon has effective mass through its dispersion relation?

The effective mass is proportional to the second derivative of the dispersion relation d2k/dE2. Do we say that phonon have effective mass through it ? Spin wave have.
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Are all metals good conductor of electricity?

I am writing an article for kids, which is on conductors and insulators of electricity. If I make a statement that "All metals are electrical conductors and all non-metals are electrical insulators" ...
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614 views

Why does the density of states in a solid scale as $\sqrt{E}$?

In three dimensions, the density of states of a free electron is the square root of the energy of the electron. Can somebody explain the relationship between this dependence and the shape/formation of ...
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115 views

Can you explain why crystals form without thermodynamics?

I know that the basic reason that solid crystals form is because it's the lowest energy configuration (i.e. this). I am looking for an intuitive explanation for this process, one that does not involve ...
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79 views

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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5k 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?
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205 views

Why does total spin conservation law forbid the spin wave gap in Heisenberg magnets?

What is the explanation for total spin conservation forbidding the spin wave gap in Heisenberg magnets?
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When is quasiparticle same as elementary excitation, and when is not?

Can anyone shed light on the comparison between these two concepts?
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Can plasma turn back into gas, solid, or liquid?

I wanted to know if, since basic chemistry teaches you that states of matter can be changed, I was wondering particularly about plasma. I know that virtually all of the Sun is plasma, so I was ...