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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How should I think about reciprocal lattice and Miller indices?

When I hear someone talking about a (100) plane or a (111) plane or an (hkl) in general, my first thought is, is the system cubic. The reason I think this is because I tend NOT to think of the planes ...
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55 views

Stress and Mass Density Distribution

I'm simulating electromigration in a copper wire using COMSOL and trying to see the back-stress caused by material transport. However, I do not see any stress growth. In other words, the atomic ...
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3answers
136 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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3answers
303 views

when we rub objects together, what determines which material will pick up electrons?

For example We know glass when rubbed by silk will become positively charged while the silk will be charged negative. What exactly makes glass appropriate for losing electrons in that experiment? (
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1answer
79 views

Where do electrical charges go, on a nonconductor dielectric when we make it charged?

My question is about electrically nonconductor dielectrics. We know such materials don't possess free charges.They have atoms bound together and every atom has specific numbers of electrons turning ...
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1answer
140 views

Connecting Fermi levels and band diagrams to potential diagrams?

I'm trying to make sense of how you can find the potential diagram given the band diagrams of a few adjacent materials. As a simple example, in semiconducting heterostructures, if you have sandwich ...
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143 views

How to demonstrate that there are just 14 types of Bravais lattice?

Is it possible to demonstrate that there are just 14 types of Bravais lattice without the knowledge of group theory?
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1answer
160 views

Simultaneous diagonalization of Hamiltonian and momentum operator

I'm looking at a translationally invariant problem with 3 atoms arranged in a circle each with one valence electron capable of tunelling to either of its two neighbors. With a tunelling rate of ...
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1answer
48 views

Why can I see the 5D0 to 7F3 transition in the trivalent Eu?

According to the selection rules of the intra-configurational f-f transitions, if the J of the initial or final state is zero, a transition with $\Delta J = 3$ is forbidden by electrical dipole, ...
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1answer
941 views

Geometric Structure Factor for Monatomic FCC lattice

I am trying to find the geometric structure factor and my work here is clearly wrong. I will put my wrong answer and then I will throw up the link to wikipedia for the correct answer, because I cannot ...
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2answers
165 views

A few questions about the Fermi Level/Energy

My first question is, how is the Fermi Energy for a material actually determined? I know this derivation, but it seems to say that the Fermi Energy is just based on the electron density (and maybe ...
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2answers
232 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 ...
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2answers
343 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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49 views

When is the Fermi surface a surface of constant mean curvature?

Fermi surfaces are surfaces of constant energy in reciprocal space. They provide information about the properties of a material in solid state physics. Constant mean curvature surfaces are a superset ...
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14 views

books/topics to get started on physics of semiconductors [duplicate]

i would like to know enough about the physics of semiconductors to the point that i can extrapolate certain properties of custom semiconductor pieces. i'll mostly be using Technology CAD to simulate ...
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1answer
155 views

Energy band diagram for solid state: what is the meaning of $k$?

I am having trouble with the meaning of the $k$ vectors in an energy diagram. If I want to populate some band, let say using a laser, what will be the significance of $k$? Does it correspond to the ...
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2answers
533 views

Continuous vs. Discrete Spectra in various materials

I read that the reason solids emit continuous spectra is that they don't have time to let their electrons decay-they are too close together. Given that electrons decay on the order of 100 nanoseconds ...
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196 views

Ice cube in a pool [closed]

Imagine this situation: Large ice cube placed at the bottom of an empty pool starts to dissolve. I was wondering if it is possible for cube to start float in the water? If yes, what fraction of the ...
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1answer
294 views

Perturbation theory

I am puzzled with perturbation theory when studying quantum mechanics and solid theory. What I learn about perturbation is, from my ignorant point of view, just mathematics, or even simpler, matrix ...
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2answers
189 views

Does heat radiation come from the nucleus or the electrons?

Is more of the thermal radiation due to acceleration of electrons or acceleration of the nuclei? Do electrons and nuclei carry the same fractions of thermal energy in a hot body?
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109 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Why don't FCC metals have a brittle-to-ductile temperature transition?

I initially thought that it had something to do with the number of slip systems in FCC vs. BCC, but they're both the same.
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1answer
214 views

Interpretation of the off-diagonal terms of the conductivity tensor

Say we have the electrical conductivity tensor expressed as a 3x3 matrix. I've seen that if it's cubic material then the conductivity tensor reduces to just the diagonal terms and these are equal, ...
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2answers
141 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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1answer
176 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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42 views

What is the “center of gravity of a band”?

It seems there is a term called "center of gravity of a band" in solid state physics or chemistry which I'm confused about. Could anyone give a formal definition of the term or point to some reference ...
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1answer
62 views

If I take an XRD image of a single cubic unit cell, would the diffraction pattern simply be its reciprocal lattice?

I've seen the rings from powder diffraction images, and I read that each line is made up of a lot of dots, I was wondering if these dots are reciprocal lattice points of the structure. And if we ...
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87 views

Equal time displacement correlation functions and their physical interpretation?

Displacement correlation functions in question are within harmonic approximation and are derived for example in: A. Maradudin, Dynamical properties of solids 1, 1 (1974). Maradudin says about the ...
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180 views

Why does a cathode have to be heated to emit electrons?

Considering that electrons are highly mobile inside of a metal, why do they have such a tough time getting out at the edge of it and continuing their trip ballistically?
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1answer
879 views

Difference between energy gaps of metal and semiconductor

I have a little question I hope someone could answer. I'm reading some Solid State Physics and I have come across energy bands and energy gaps. As far as I understand the energy band is where the ...
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1answer
73 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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2answers
195 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 ...
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4answers
126 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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2answers
251 views

Higgs vs phonons

Jim Baggott's "Higgs" quotes David Millers' prize-winning one-page explanation of the Higgs mechanism (the one that evokes Margaret Thatcher crossing a room). I've heard that part many times, but not ...
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3answers
95 views

Should a polyatomic crystal behave similarly to the bulk of each/either of its constituent elements?

Generally, metals are usually fairly conductive, but their oxides aren't. I know conductivity is just one attribute, but in general, should you expect a, say, diatomic bulk crystal's properties to be ...
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2answers
149 views

Difference between charge density wave and charge distribution

We can always see modulated charge density, the Friedel Oscillation, around an probe charge due to other electrons' response. Can this be called charge density wave (I believe not)? If not, what is ...
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1answer
63 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?
2
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1answer
216 views

valence bands in graphene

In Graphene, each carbon use 3 electrons to form sp2 bonding with neighboring, and in a unit cell, there are 2 carbon atoms, so at least these 6 electrons contribute to 6 valence bands. Then my ...
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1answer
104 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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65 views

The boundary between polycrystalline and crystalline

My current understanding of solid crystalline-like materials (please correct me if I'm wrong!) is that it is a continuum in terms of crystallinity, from amorphous (basically no periodicity) to single ...
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1answer
294 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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1answer
430 views

Bound states and scattering length

What is the relationship between bound states and scattering length? What is the relationship between scattering states and scattering length? When we say, potential is 'like' repulsive for ...
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24 views

What is space charge polarizibility?

There are not available article in net about space charge polarizibility? Anyone have idea about it that with the derivation of space charge polarizibility?
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326 views

Particle current operator in general vs Particle current operator for tight binding Hamiltonian

I am referring Mahan Many-Particle Physics. There are 2 particle current operators -one in general and one for the tight binding Hamiltonian. How do we go from the general current operator (1.195 in ...
3
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1answer
968 views

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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461 views

Where does the Berry phase of $\pi$ come from in a topological insulator?

The Berry connection and the Berry phase should be related. Now for a topological insulator (TI) (or to be more precise, for a quantum spin hall state, but I think the Chern parities are calculated in ...
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1answer
634 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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57 views

Mass frequency problem

For Dispersion relation , according to Gaussian profile, the author in the equation 3 wrote as $\omega= \left(k^2+\omega_{mass}^2\right)^{1/2}$ My question is what is mass frequency and how it arose ...
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89 views

Phase diagram of SO(5) rotor model

It was originally a problem from Professor Eugene Demler's problem set. Consider an SO(5) rotor model: \begin{align}\mathcal{H}=\frac{1}{\chi} ...
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2answers
312 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?