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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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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1k 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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204 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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337 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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308 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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138 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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5k 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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337 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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170 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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195 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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63 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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88 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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117 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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392 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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3k 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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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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221 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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276 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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315 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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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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251 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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70 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?
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415 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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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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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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431 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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746 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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500 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 ...
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2k 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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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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1k 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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59 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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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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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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152 views

Accelerated charged particles produce electromagnetic radiation, but holes (the charge carriers) do not. Is this correct?

Holes are treated as particles in solid-state physics, so I've had some trouble with reasoning through this properly.
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76 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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Is this a correct description of bonding in a metal?

I am reading the paper "Twenty five years of Finnis-Sinclair potentials" by Graeme Ackland, Adrian Sutton, and Vasek Vitek, Philosophical Magazine 2009, 89, 3111-3116. It is a review-type article ...
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73 views

Whether Au-Ga-Bi ternary phase diagram be calculated theoretically

Currently, my experiment involves the three elements: Au, Ga, Bi, and I need Au-Ga-Bi ternary phase diagram to explore the ...
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108 views

How would a diffraction pattern change if the atoms were triangular instead of spheres?

On a related note, what's a good book/source that would answer questions that go very in depth with these kinds of "what if" questions because I am also asked the same if the atoms were long cylinders ...
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281 views

A (smart) way to map out the Brillouin zone of a 2-D material

I am currently writing a tight-binding calculation model for various 2-D cells as part of a homework assignment. Whilst solving the problem set was quite easy I struggle at a smart way to plot the ...
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80 views

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 ...
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313 views

Is glass a liquid?

I was told by a condensed matter physicist that glass is a liquid with a very high viscosity (it would be more precise to say that it is a supercooled liquid). The example given was that in cathedral ...
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144 views

What does the wavevector $\textbf{k}$ mean?

In Ashcroft, Mermin Solid State Physics, Eq. 17.43 is $$ \epsilon(\textbf{k}) = \frac{\hbar^2 k^2}{2m} - e\phi(\textbf{r}) $$ where $\textbf{k}$ is the wavevector and all other symbols have their ...
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306 views

Change of basis in non-linear Schrodinger equation

At the mean-field level, the dynamics of a polariton condensate can be described by a type of nonlinear Schrodinger equation (Gross-Pitaevskii-type), for a classical (complex-number) wavefunction ...
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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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241 views

Ferromagnetism with mobile spins

How can electron spins in Iron at room temperature have ferromagnetic order even though they are travelling at very high speeds? One could argue that spin and motion are completely uncorrelated and ...
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310 views

What is the difference between spin glass and spin liquid?

What is the difference between spin glass and spin liquid? Do they both originate from frustration?
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396 views

Distinguish electron-like and hole-like orbits in reciprocal space, with reference to the Brillouin Zones

So I have a solid state and thermodynamic exam next week and I've been going through some of the previous exams from years gone by to prepare. I came across this question "Distinguish electron-like ...
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263 views

If my lattice has an atomic basis, do I also find the reciprocals of the basis vectors to get the reciprocal crystal structure?

That is what my crystal structure looks like. The blue atoms sit on every lattice point (basis vector of $\{0,0\}$) and the red atoms have basis vector of $\left\{{2\over3},{1\over3}\right\}$. The ...
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Is this 2D structure triclinic?

The only rotation axis obvious to me is rotation by 360 degrees, the identity. Vertical mirror planes I've been dicing and cutting it through several planes and I still see none. Yet, the structure ...