The Oxford Solid State Basics

Paperback | July 20, 2013

bySteven H. Simon

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The study of solids is one of the richest, most exciting, and most successful branches of physics. While the subject of solid state physics is often viewed as dry and tedious this new book presents the topic instead as an exciting exposition of fundamental principles and great intellectualbreakthroughs. Beginning with a discussion of how the study of heat capacity of solids ushered in the quantum revolution, the author presents the key ideas of the field while emphasizing the deep underlying concepts. The book begins with a discussion of the Einstein/Debye model of specific heat, and the Drude/Sommerfeld theories of electrons in solids, which can all be understood without reference to any underlying crystal structure. The failures of these theories force a more serious investigation ofmicroscopics. Many of the key ideas about waves in solids are then introduced using one dimensional models in order to convey concepts without getting bogged down with details. Only then does the book turn to consider real materials. Chemical bonding is introduced and then atoms can be bonded together to crystal structures and reciprocal space results. Diffraction experiments, as the central application of these ideas, are discussed in great detail. From there, the connection is made to electron wave diffraction in solids andhow it results in electronic band structure. The natural culmination of this thread is the triumph of semiconductor physics and devices. The final section of the book considers magnetism in order to discuss a range of deeper concepts. The failures of band theory due to electron interaction, spontaneous magnetic orders, and mean field theories are presented well. Finally, the book gives a brief exposition of the Hubbard model thatundergraduates can understand. The book presents all of this material in a clear fashion, dense with explanatory or just plain entertaining footnotes. This may be the best introductory book for learning solid state physics. It is certainly the most fun to read.

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The study of solids is one of the richest, most exciting, and most successful branches of physics. While the subject of solid state physics is often viewed as dry and tedious this new book presents the topic instead as an exciting exposition of fundamental principles and great intellectualbreakthroughs. Beginning with a discussion of h...

Professor Steven Simon earned a BSc degree from Brown in Physics and Mathematics in 1989 and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Harvard in 1995. Following a two-year post-doc at MIT, he joined Bell Labs, where he was a director of research for nine years. He is currently Professor of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics in the Departme...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pagesPublished:July 20, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199680779

ISBN - 13:9780199680771

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Table of Contents

1. About Condensed Matter PhysicsPart I: Solids Without Considering Microscopic Structure: The Early Days of Solid State2. Specific Heat of Solids: Boltzmann, Einstein, and Debye3. Electrons in Metals: Drude Theory4. More Electrons in Metals: Sommerfeld (Free Electron) TheoryPart II: Structure of Materials5. The Periodic Table6. What Holds Solids Together: Chemical Bonding7. Types of MatterPart III: Toy Models of Solids in One Dimension8. One Dimensional Model of Compressibility, Sound, and Thermal Expansion9. Vibrations of a One Dimensional Monatomic Chain10. Vibrations of a One Dimensional Diatomic Chain11. Tight Binding Chain (Interlude and Preview)Part IV: Geometry of Solids12. Crystal Structure13. Reciprocal Lattice, Brillouin Zone, Waves in CrystalsPart V: Neutron and X-Ray Diffraction14. Wave Scattering by CrystalsPart VI: Electrons in Solids15. Electrons in a Periodic Potential16. Insulator, Semiconductor, or Metal17. Semiconductor Physics18. Semiconductor DevicesPart VII: Magnetism and Mean Field Theories19. Atomic Magnetism: Para- and Dia-Magnetism20. Magnetic Order21. Domains and Hysteresis22. Mean Field Theory23. Magnetism from Interactions: The Hubbard ModelAppendix A: Sample Exam and SolutionsAppendix B: List of Other Good Books

Editorial Reviews

"The author, Steven Simon, is well known as an insightful scientist and an engaging and witty speaker, and it is a pleasure to see how well his talents translate to the printed page. He has re-examined with a modern eye the question of which topics should be covered in a student's firstexposure to the physics of solids. My impression is that his presentation of those topics will be accessible for the student, illuminating for the expert, and entertaining for all." --Joel E. Moore, University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory