Quantum Physics of Solids
Why do silicon, calcite and copper have very different properties even though they have similar densities of electrons? The answer is quantum mechanics and its application to band theory. Band theory provides some ofthe most direct tests of quantum mechanics. The course will develop the theory to explain thermal and electrical properties of everyday materials. We shall see how quantum mechanics and Fermi statistics successfully explained these properties when classical physics could not. The course will provide the concepts and quantum mechanical training needed to understand, for example, the workings of semiconductor devices. It will also provide theoretical understandings of material properties like thermal and electrical conductivity, optical reflection and transmission coefficients that you have seen in mechanics, E&M and modern physics. Topics covered will include: Drude and Sommerfield Models; Bloch's Theorem and periodic potentials; the nearly free electron model; tight binding model; band structures; semiconductors and insulators; band structure engineering.The mathematics required to understand the concepts will be developed as we go through the topics.
3 credits. Prerequisites: Ph 112, Ph 213, and Ph 214
Course Code: Ph 346