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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 am starting to get used to it as we get farther in. What are good introductory solid state books?

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Hook and Hall is probably my personal favourite as it is very clear and concise without a lot of fuss.

For a totally different style to the classics maybe try "The Oxford Solid State Basics". The lecture notes on which this book was based are available (in part) online (google steve simon solid state lecture notes and you should get there without much trouble).

If you want something that is based mostly on semiconductor devices you could read basically anything by Sze but a good one to start with is "Physics of Semiconductor Devices".

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  • $\begingroup$ Is Hook and Hall aimed at the undergraduate level? $\endgroup$ – mithusengupta123 May 3 '18 at 16:31
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I think the “condensed matter physics” written by Michael Marder is a good one. The book is well writen and talks a lot about physics. He also have his lecture notes and syllabus onhiswebsite. You can start learning following his syllabus.

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There are a lot of complaints about Kittel. In some ways it is not even "hard". Just a poor textbook.

Ashcroft and Mermin is the other common intro textbook. It is as hard, maybe slightly harder than Kittel in terms of math but has a reputation for being easier to understand. (I agree with this take.) It is a little longer than Kittel and also older (no HTSC for instance). But it is sort of the Pepsi to Kittel's Coke.

You could also take a look at Burns Solid State Physics. It was written by an experimenter and is more enjoyable to a material scientist or chemist (or some physicists). There is a long section at the front with a lot of symmetry and crystal system stuff (more the chemist approach and turns off physicists). But you can ignore that and just go to his treatment of the Drude model or the like. It is just as good in terms of rigor or the like as A&M but makes more sense to me. This book is the RC Cola of SSP books.

A very easy book is Cox Electronic Structure and Chemistry of Solids. It is for chemists and material scientists so the math is easier and more of an intuitive picture given on what is going on. But it does not cover all of solid state physics.

Another VERY easy book (for a physicist) is West Solid State Chemistry. You can ignore the parts about synthesis or the like. But if you just want a basic picture of different types of magnetism or other properties, it gives guick intuitive picture (with graphs of behavior). For me this is more accessible to think about the properties themselves first, before moving to a model to explain them.

[I would suggest instead of buying any of these books to look at them in the library and see if any of them click enough to want to buy a copy.]

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  • $\begingroup$ The difference between Kittel versus Ashcroft and Mermin is what elements of solid state physics they treat as the most interesting/important. Kittel does everything you can possibly do with just the lattice structure before introducing the electrons. Ashcroft and Mermin do everything you can possible with just the electron gas before introducing the lattice structure. $\endgroup$ – Buzz Feb 22 '18 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Buzz What's the best book or best online resource on solid state at the undergraduate level? $\endgroup$ – mithusengupta123 May 3 '18 at 16:33

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