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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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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237 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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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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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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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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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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95 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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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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803 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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96 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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166 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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538 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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149 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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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 ...
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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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164 views

Crystal momentum and the vector potential

I noticed that the Aharonov–Bohm effect describes a phase factor given by $e^{\frac{i}{\hbar}\int_{\partial\gamma}q A_\mu dx^\mu}$. I also recognize that electrons in a periodic potential gain a phase ...
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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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578 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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270 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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577 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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277 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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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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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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366 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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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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Semiconductors and energy bands

The valence and conduction band of a semi-conductor are often drawn as here click. This plot has essentially two features and I would like to understand them. The peak and the valley of the two ...
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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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220 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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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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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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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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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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474 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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66 views

Why according to Hund's first rule all electron with same spin should occupy orbitals when partially filling?

I get that because of coulomb repulsion initially all the electrons will not occupy the same site but will single occupy the orbitals.But while doing so how do they know to keep their spins aligned ...
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Periodic momentum space in band structure

I often see pictures like this in physics, this one for Silicon band structure. (source, NB: it's the German page for Silicon). There you see the plot of the energy in terms of the momentum $k$. ...
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114 views

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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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 ...