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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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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231 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 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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4k views

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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1k views

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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535 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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512 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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150 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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286 views

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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163 views

Domain of validity for semiconductor equations

If I understand correctly, the distinction between semiconductors and insulators is a matter of convention? A semiconductor is basically an insulator with an (enough) narrow band gap, usually around ...
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157 views

Molecule vs Crystal

Feynman mentions in his lectures: ...the concept of a molecule of a substance is only approximate and exists only for a certain class of substances. It is clear in the case of water that the ...
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373 views

Does a quantum phase transition have latent heat?

As the title says, I am thinking about the question that whether a quantum phase transition has latent heat. If so, at 0 temperature, we can drive the system by some parameter from disorder phase to ...
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342 views

What are the applications of delta function potentials?

Are there real applications for using delta function potentials in quantum mechanics (other than using it as an exactly solvable toy model in introductory undergraduate quantum mechanics textbooks) ? ...
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318 views

What is the time correlation function in the Green-Kubo formulation of ionic current?

I am reading a paper, and I came across the Green-Kubo formulation, where the conductivity $\sigma$ of charged particles is related to the time correlation function of the $z$-component of the ...
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886 views

Propagation of light in transparent media: absorption and reemission or scattering?

In the two Phys.SE questions What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium? and Why glass is transparent? transparent media were discussed. But I'd like to clarify ...
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56 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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63 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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92 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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879 views

Fermi level alignment and electrochemical potential between two metals

I'm trying to get a more intuitive/physical grasp of the Fermi level, like I have of electric potential. I know that, for just a single piece of metal in equilibrium, you have to have the electric ...
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1answer
46 views

Origin of interaction in inelastic neutron scatting

In solid state physics, inelastic neutron scattering is a commonly-used experimental technique for probing the energy spectrum of phonon and magnon excitations. This technique relies on the ...
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283 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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247 views

Fermi level with Landau levels

So my question is regarding where the Fermi energy is when you have 2D electron gas in an applied magnetic field. My book explains that, using the Landau gauge, you find that the 2D density of states ...
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450 views

Nature of tetragonal distortion in Jahn-Teller effect

I am wondering: If I have a regular octahedron as my starting point, oriented along the x-y-z axis, and now Jahn-Teller suggest I elongate or compress along the $z$-axis, what happens along the other ...
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124 views

Group analysis forbids band-crossing in 1D?

Group analysis forbids band-crossing in 1D in terms of conventional band theory. I read this in a good solid state physics book. But there's no explanation at all. Can anyone help on this?
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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 ...
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128 views

Determining Fourier Coefficients by inspection

I'm beginning to learn about Fourier series/transforms. My teacher hopes that by now we should be able to examine a simple potential function and decompose it without having to actually do the ...
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150 views

Can Rydberg states exist within the bulk of a metal?

I am aware that outer shell electrons in rubidium atoms in an optical lattice can be excited to Rydberg levels, in which the electrons orbit well beyond the atoms to which they are bound. Is this ...
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Why is calcium paramagnetic?

As far as I understand, magnetism comes from the 'unpaired electrons' in the subshells of atoms. Atoms with paired electrons are diamagnetic ('not magnetic') while atoms with unpaired electrons are ...
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133 views

From the local Hooke's law to the global one

My system consist of a cylinder with axis Z that can contract and dilate along this axis. It obeys microscopically Hooke's law of elasticity: ...
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592 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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152 views

Repulsive classical identical particles on a square lattice

I am not sure whether it is some well-known named model in statistical physics. I could not find it in any standard text-book that I know of. Let there be $N$ identical classical particles ...
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214 views

Experimental samples with rare earth metal

Many experiments, such as optical, superconductivity, etc, use the samples that involve rare earth metals and transition metals. Why are they used that often. Is the main reasons: They have the ...
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26 views

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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147 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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84 views

Statistical Mechanics - Distribution of Energies

Consider a state space $\mathbb{X}$. The probability density function under a canonical ensemble is given by the Boltzmann distribution $$\pi_{\mathbb{X}}(x)=\frac{e^{-\beta ...
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173 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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122 views

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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169 views

What determines Phonon - Phonon collisions?

I was in Solid State Physics lecture yesterday and we BRIEFLY went over what causes phonons to collide with one another. Things such as crystal imperfections, boundaries, Temperature, but I was ...
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644 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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1answer
69 views

Forward-scattering for a single impurity in an infinite system

I'm slightly confused with the following situation: Suppose you have an electron in a tight-binding model, and let's say we are in one dimension with $N$ lattice sites. Add to this a single ...
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1answer
398 views

Dopant concentration and changes in band gap energy

Thanks to this lovely website, I was able to pop out reasonable values for my band gap energies from a translucent material. As expected, I found a decrease in band gap energy due to my treatments. ...
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1answer
188 views

Algorithm for identifying planes in a Bravais Lattice

I have a lattice with Lattice Vectors $(\vec{t}_1,\vec{t}_2,\vec{t}_3)$ which are NOT orthogonal in general. How can I identify the atoms/unit cells that belong to a plane - that is normal to a given ...
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364 views

Thomas-Fermi approximation and the dielectric function (+ small bit on graphene)

1) With the dielectric function, which is a function of wavenumber and frequency,how is it possible to take the limit of either to zero without changing the other one? I thought that frequency and ...
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118 views

Inelastic Scattering and coherent scatterng

Another Scattering Question So I have this Bravais Lattice of sites R vibrating with some normal mode with a small displacement amplitude $u_o$, some wave vector k and some frequency $\omega$. We can ...
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1answer
99 views

What is the energy in eV between atoms in a typical solid state material?

Comps 2 question: What is the energy in eV between atoms in a typical solid state material ? Just rough estimate ? How is that related to the thermal energy that needs to be supplied in order to ...
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207 views

How are quantum potential wells fabricated?

Potential wells, such as infinite and finite potential well, have been the standard examples in quantum mechanics textbooks for tens of years. They started being only theoretical toy models but as ...
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1answer
391 views

What are Low-lying energy levels?

I am reading about some canonical transformations of the Hamiltonian (of a system consisting of an electron interacting with an ionic lattice) due to Tomanaga and Lee, Low and Pines. One of the ...
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295 views

Lorentz invariance of a frequency- and wavelength- dependent dielectric tensor

Suppose we have a material described by a dielectric tensor $\bar{\epsilon}$. In frequency domain, this tensor depends on the wave frequency $\omega$ and the wave vector $\vec{k}$. Clearly not all ...
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657 views

Madelung constant list (for surfaces as well)

Searching for this on google proved to be quite tedious, but I reckon that someone working with crystals a lot might know this off the top of his head: Is there a good source that lists the Madelung ...
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349 views

Scattering of phonons and electrons within solids

I got a question concerning the scattering of phonons and electrons. I read an introductory explanation to this process that is somehow not very satisfactory. It goes like this: Let $\psi_{k}$ and ...