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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Total momentum in linear monoatomic chain

Context: Solid state physics. Monoatomic linear chain. Question: To prove that the total momentum of the chain is zero. Attempted solution: I consider the sum: \begin{align*} p = \sum_{n=1}^{N} m ...
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136 views

Pseudocubic unit cells: how to construct one?

I keep coming across the term pseudocubic unit cell while reading about orthorhombic perovskite structures. No clear explanation ...
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111 views

Why is copper a metal?

Context: Solid state physics Question: Can it be reasoned in the context of solid state physics (perhaps within the band theory of solids?) that copper is a metal ?
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Ion-neutralization processes and its energies

Ionization energies/Electron affinities are well mapped. I wonder about opposite processes... I imagine for anion the necessary energy will be equal to the electron affinity (energy released when ...
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72 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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126 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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520 views

The skin effect and the reflectivity of gold

I am simulating a waveguide in COMSOL, a FEM solver. My model looks like this (it is similar to a standard Quantum Cascade Laser geometry): Therefore there is a very thin (30nm) layer of gold ...
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113 views

Why longitudinal accoustic and optical branch have the same energy (and thus frequency)?

Context: Solid state physics, lattice dynamics. Question: At point $X$ the LO and LA branches have the same energy. Is this something that can be expected before doing the experiment or is it just it ...
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25 views

Number of reflections for BCC crystal [closed]

I need to calculate the number of reflections expected for the (110) and (200) plane of a BCC crystal. How would you do it?
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97 views

Why can't a dislocation terminate in the bulk?

We are told that they can only terminate on surfaces, grain boundaries or other dislocations but we are not told why they can't terminate inside the crystal.
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253 views

What does (001) Silicon mean?

If someone gives me a thin film of Si, and they tell me it's (001) Si, does that mean that the (001) planes of Si are the ones making up the surface of the film?
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692 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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465 views

Is an “infinitely sharp blade” possible?

A staple of science fiction and fantasy is a blade (knife, sword, ...) that cuts through literally any solid object (wood, steel, concrete, skulls, ...) without effort, often even without the need to ...
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68 views

What is the quantum Hall resistance R_H as a function of magnetic field?

For the integer quantum Hall effect, the resistance $R_H = h/(ne^2)$, where $n$ is some integer. All of the graphs of $R_H$ as a function of magnetic field, $B$, that I've seen show that at $B = 0$, ...
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112 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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84 views

Is this two forms of Hubbard model equivalent?

I have seen two form of Hubbard model, one is: $$H=-t\sum_{<ij>s}c_{is}^\dagger c_{js}+h.c.+U\sum_i(n_{i\uparrow}-1/2)(n_{i\downarrow}-1/2)-\mu\sum_{is}n_{is}$$ The other is a more familiar ...
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44 views

How Does The Macroscopic Wavefunction Build Up?

How does the macroscopic wavefunction (the order parameter) builds up from zero value to the a finite value when liquid He undergoes a transition from normal to the superfluid state? How does it ...
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Symmetry Breaking And Phase transition

Is every phase transition associated with a symmetry breaking? If yes, what is the symmetry that a gaseous phase have but the liquid phase does not? What is the extra symmetry that normal $\bf He$ ...
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396 views

Intro to Solid State Physics

I didn't see this listed on the books page so here it is. I'm currently in an introductory Solid State course, and we are using Kittel's book. I have been having a rough time with this book although I ...
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337 views

Fermi wavelength of graphene

Does anybody know the Fermi wavelength of graphene? I searched the Internet for a while without success. I found, by inspection with the Fourier transform of an S.T.M. image $$ 3.84e^{-10} \mathrm{m}. ...
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258 views

How to obtain band dispersion from a band structure diagram?

Reading about bands dispersion, I came across the following (Computational Chemsitry of Solid State Materials): ...
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152 views

n-p-n p-n-p and n-n-n heterostructure for LED

I was studying LED Heterostructures and I found out that my book is always giving reference to p-p-n type heterostructure. So I looked up into another book in order to find other type of ...
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57 views

Uncertainty principle characterizing metallic bonding?

So I was trying to think through the statement that the uncertainty principle can characterize metallic bonding. I know that the uncertainty principle is: $\Delta p \Delta x = \frac{\hbar}{2}$. And ...
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147 views

Good introduction to many-body Green's function via path integral formulation?

Can anyone kindly provide any information on valuable references or books on this topic? It appears to be prevalent in 90s papers on High-Tc superconductivity or quantum Hall effect, especially in a ...
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70 views

Translation invariance in crystals

Context: solid state physics - dynamics of atoms in crystals. Coupling constants are defined as: \begin{align*} \frac{\partial^2\Phi}{\partial r_{nai}\partial r_{mbj}} = \Phi_{nai}^{mbj} ...
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469 views

Band gaps: are they at the centre or at the edge of the Brillouin zone?

Reading about electronic band structures, I came across the following: Band gaps open at the edges of the Brillouin zone (BZ), since that is where the Bragg scattering occurs. I am slightly ...
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Variational principle

In the LMTO method, the interstitial region is approximated by plane waves and the muffin tin region of the potential by solutions to the radial Schrodinger equation. In using the variational method ...
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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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368 views

What are the 'oscillators' in the Drude Lorentz model?

Jackson's Electrodynamics defines the Drude-Lorentz model as a set of harmonic oscillators (running over indices $j$ below), which, if you write out the equations of motion and rearrange a little, ...
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Does the Fermi sea have plane waves, or wave packets?

Consider a zero-temperature, one-dimensional crystal with allowed electron momenta $k_n = \frac{2\pi n}{L}$. Question: Which is the more correct way to think about the Fermi sea? Sharp plane ...
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59 views

How to deal with $\vec{j}\cdot\vec{A}$ or $\rho A^2$ interaction when utilizing Kubo formula? Gauge invariance?

If there exist electromagnetic fields in solids, electrons can feel interactions like $\vec{j} \cdot \vec{A}$ or $\rho A^2$ (these are not regarded as perturbations). But these are not gauge ...
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Is there a way to quantify how similar a polycrystal should behave to a single crystal?

So in solid state classes we learned about phenomena like band structure and others arising from a periodic potential. Then we get to doing actual experiment and find out that materials being single ...
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Why does ice melts, waits for 100 degrees and THEN vaporises? Why is not the process of expansion of things continuous?

What I am asking is this: Why can't a body be solid, then solid-ish, then solid-like, then liquid-like, then liquid-ish, then liquid, then vapor-like and then vapor? Why is there a rigid temperature ...
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When I stretch a rubber band, it breaks. When I hold the broken ends together, why doesn't it join again?

The question is simple. When we join the two broken surfaces, what is it that keeps the surfaces from connecting with each other, while earlier they were attached to each other? Also, would the two ...
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Are they the same thing: Wigner distribution in quantum Boltzmann equation and Wigner function in quantum optics?

We know that quantum Boltzmann equation (QBE) is an equation of motion for the interacting Green's function $G^<(\vec{x}_1,t_1;\vec{x}_2,t_2)\equiv\mathrm{i}\langle ...
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52 views

Why does chemical potential smaller than zero mean nondegeneracy and vice versa

In Mudelung's book, Introduction to Solid-State Theory, I have a confusion about the statement. Here, $x$ should be $\frac{\mu}{k_B T}$. I am cofused about his statement. Why does $x<0$ mean ...
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197 views

Why does $c_{-k,-\sigma}$ create a particle with momentum $k$?

In Mudelung's book, Introduction to Solid-State Theory, I am confused by the following statement. For many applications a further simplification is helpful. The concept of the hole presents us ...
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38 views

Explain Heat Transfer

I would like to know what are these formulas used for. There is no intro about it in my book at all, and I am reading Heat Transfer book. If needed Q. can be edited.
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758 views

Fermi level and conductivity

Can someone in a simple way explain me what the Fermi level is and what does it have to do with conductivity. My teacher said that Cu conducts electric current better than Al because of something in ...
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72 views

Getting nonphysical results when solving for the index of refraction of a slab?

I'm trying to computationally find the refractive indices (real and imaginary) for a thin slab suspended in air (so the only indices to deal with are air and my material's). I've experimentally taken ...
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239 views

Derivation of existence of energy band gap in semiconductor (solid State)

I am looking for both a mathematical and a physical reason for energy band gap in metals. For Physical reason, I was told that at each reciprocal lattice, you could have Bragg scattering, that would ...
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223 views

Why are free electrons free?

This is what I understand so far: in a conductor, the ions have a weak pull on the valence electrons. So when an electric field is applied, the free electrons are able to easily move about. Makes ...
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Vacancy Generation / Annihilation Time (Relaxation Time)

Vacancy Generation/Annihilation Time, Recombination Time and Relaxation Time ($\tau$) are all synonymously used in atomic physics literatures. They're defined as the time that it takes for vacancies ...
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Optical absorption — what are the common ranges and mechanisms?

So let's say you do some reflection/transmission spectroscopy of a material. It's clear that it's absorbing in some range. What would be your first step in identifying the source of the absorption? ...
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86 views

What is the significance of the difference in the eigenvalue equations of Bloch functions for electrons vs photons?

any text on photonic crystals will highlight the almost perfect analogy between electrons in a periodic potential and photons in a periodic dielectric. The analogies are: $$V(\vec r + \vec R) = ...
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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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64 views

Molecules of a solid [closed]

Question: Molecules of a solid : (a) are always in a state of motion (b) move only when heated (c) move because they are loosely bound (d) do not move at all My attempt: I ...
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141 views

How to get conductivity from Green function $\mathcal{G}(x_1,x_2,\tau)$ of inhomogeneous system?

I'd like to study an inhomogeneous system, i.e., momentum is not a good quantum number therein. Therefore, I tried to calculate temperature Green functions like $\mathcal{G}(x_1,x_2;\tau)$, or its ...
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Dispersion Relation (e vs. k) clarification (crystal momentum or electron momentum)

If we get the dispersion relation from the Fourier transform of the lattice vectors then how do we get electrons information? Specifically, for the $k=0$ point of the graph, does this mean the ...
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How does a band gap arise from the 3D Kronig Penney model?

The Kronig-Penney (KP) model is a classic model that is used to show that a periodic lattice of finite well potential sites will give rise to a band gap. The typical process in solving the KP seems to ...