Physics 406 Introduction to Solid State Physics



Instructor: Prof. Sang-W. Cheong                                                 Lectures: Mondays, Thursdays 10:20 - 11:40 am ARC 204

Grader: Yazhong Wang,    Office Hours: 11:15 am- 12:15 pm, Tuesday

Office: Serin 258 848-445-9023


(a) Single crystal of TbMn2O5

(b) Electronic band structure of the surface of Bi2Se3 (topological insulator)

(c) Ferroelectric domains in YMnO3

(d) Magnetic bubble domain (skyrmion) in MnSi

(e) Superconducting vortices in NbSe2


[04.06.2015] Midterm solution ready for downloading

[03.06.2015] Midterm date is changed to March 23, 2015

[02.23.2015] Gradebook accessible through HERE

[02.12.2015] Homework 2 and homework 1 solution ready for downloading

[01.29.2015] Homework 1 ready for downloading.

[01.22.2015] Welcome to the spring semester!


Problem sets will be handed out in class on Thursdays and will be due the following Thursday. Solutions will be given out the next Monday. Homework handed in late will be penalized 20 %. No homework will be accepted after the solutions are available. (I strongly recommend that you understand all homework problems as preparation for the exams).

Week of Monday Thursday
Jan. 19 No class Introduction and overview
Jan. 26   HW1
Feb. 9   HW2, HW1 solution
Mar. 2 HW2 solution
Apr. 6 HW3 solutionHW4 solution,Midterm solution  
Apr. 20 HW5 solution  
Apr. 26 HW6 solution  
May. 11 HW7 solution  


The course will follow the topics of Kittel rather closely. I intend to enhance some of Kittel’s discussion by including solid state chemistry and materials science aspects. Below, I have outlined the topics for the course. I reserve the right to tailor this program as we progress, and I will keep you informed as to what is expected of you. Topics of current interest will be covered throughout the course.

Structure Properties of Materials

Crystal binding

Lattice Vibrations and Thermal Properties

Electronic Properties of Solids


Optical Properties of Solids

Magnetic Properties of Solids

Dielectric and Ferroelectric Properties




•Introduction to Solid State Physics

By C. Kittel (John Wiley, New York, 2005)


Elementary Solid State Physics: Principles and Applications

By M. Ali Omar (Addison-Wesley 1993)

Solid State Physics

By N. W. Ashcroft and N. D. Mermin
(Holt, Rienhart and Winston, New York, 1976)

Solid State Chemistry and Its Applications
By A. R. West (John Wiley & Sons, 1989)


March 23 In-class Midterm
May 11, 8-11 am Final

Please bring a calculator and an equation sheet to the exams.


Homework: 25 %, Midterm: 25 %, final: 50 %.

Class participation is greatly encouraged and will contribute positively towards the final grade.

You can check your current grade HERE.