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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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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434 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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2k 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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345 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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470 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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384 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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441 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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1k 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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99 views

Why is Graphene So Strong?

There has been a lot of news about Graphene since its discovery in 2004. And as we are all told it is a revolutionary material which is very strong, conductive and transparent. But what is it about ...
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78 views

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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366 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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48 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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484 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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114 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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47 views

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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146 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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279 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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189 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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3k 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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149 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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47 views

Are there any electro-optic crystals that are also pyroelectric but not birefringent?

As the title says, a crystal that is electr-optic and pyroelectric can it be non-birefrigent?
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160 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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233 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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97 views

Why is Bose-Einstein condensation a phase transition?

Bosons may succumb to a Bose-Einstein condensation at a certain critical temperature $T_c$, thus entering the BEC phase. The only thing I know about the BEC is that since we are talking about bosons ...
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32 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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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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92 views

Possibility of stable muonic structures?

In an analogy to the neutron, which decays rapidly as a free particle, but when bound in a nucleus it is stable, would it be possible to crease a structure that permits the stability of muons - be it ...
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255 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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79 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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586 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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240 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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Crystal visualization software for visualizing lattice with reciprocal vectors drawn in same image [closed]

I'm looking for a free crystal visualization program, preferably for Linux, that can visualize the common lattice structures in 3D interactively (rotatable with mouse) and draw in the same picture the ...
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550 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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134 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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105 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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264 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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601 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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313 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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738 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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371 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 ...
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53 views

Why is graphene robust, but graphite not?

Graphite can be thought of as various layers of graphene mounted on top of each other. Graphene is known to be as robust as diamonds, yet graphite can be found in pencils and we all know from ...
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37 views

What is the the real world interpretation of the high dimensionality of quasicrystals?

One of the examples of the problems of 5-fold symmetry is that pentagons tiled on a 2D plane do not completely fill that plane, leaving voids. This may be solved by "folding" it into 3D space, and ...
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135 views

Convention in physics for [],{} and operators (QM)

I got a little mixed up with the convention in physics. Usually a hat means an operator. For a given electron-ion Hamiltonian $\hat{H}_{e-n}$, what are the difference between these: 1) ...
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118 views

About SU(2) gauge symmetry of the large U limit of the Hubbard model

I have been studying about the SU(2) symmetry in Heisenberg Hamiltonian with a paper 'SU(2) gauge symmetry of the large U limit of the Hubbard model' written by Ian Affleck et al(Phys. Rev. B 38, 745 ...
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101 views

Lattice geometry and dispersion relation

Is there a general theorem which gives some information about which influence have the lattice geometry (for example sub-lattice structure, square lattice, honeycomb lattice, lattice symmetries, ...) ...
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61 views

Separating the hamiltonian for a superlattice — is it this easy?

I've been banging my head against a wall trying to figure out what I'm sure is a very simple problem. I want to solve the Kronig Penney model for a superlattice, which is just a normal periodic 1D ...
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49 views

Momentum of light in medium [duplicate]

Maybe this has been asked before, but I didn't find anything about it. I am wondering about the momentum of light in media with refractive index n>1 (so to say, not in vacuum). There are two ...
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336 views

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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207 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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Non-Hermiticity when Fourier transforming onto a finite lattice

I'm doing numerical simulations. I have the Haldane model in a honeycomb lattice where $$ H = \sum \limits_{<ij>}a^\dagger_i b_j + h.c $$ Where $i$ belongs to sublattice $A$, and $j$ to ...