Physics 406: Introduction to Solid State Physics

Spring 2012
Mondays, Thursdays 10:20 - 11:40 a.m.
ARC 204

Course Instructor:  Prof. Alexandre V. Morozov
Office Hour:  Tue 3:00 - 4:00 pm (E266 Serin)

Grader:  Xueyun Wang
Email:  xueyun AT


Overview:  This course is intended to provide an introduction to the physics of solids.  We will begin by characterizing the properties of static (crystal structure) and dynamic (lattice vibrations) arrangements of atoms.  Next we will study electrons in solids and will identify key features distinguishing metals, insulators and semiconductors.  Semiconductor devices and, time permitting, biological systems will also be discussed.  We will end with two examples of macroscopic quantum phenomena, magnetism and superconductivity, and a discussion of current open questions. Topics of current interest will be covered throughout the course. 

Course Texbook:  M. Ali Omar,  Elementary Solid State Physics (Addison-Wesley 1993).

Supplementary Text:   C. Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics  (John Wiley & Sons 2005).


Week of
Jan. 16

Introduction and Overview;
Interatomic Forces

Jan. 23
Crystal Structures and Diffraction: I

Homework 1 (due 01/30)
Handout 1
Handout 2

Homework 1 Solutions

Crystal Structures and Diffraction: II

Jan. 30
Crystal Structures and Diffraction: III

Homework 2 (due 02/06)
Handout 3

Homework 2 Solutions

Crystal Structures and Diffraction: IV

Feb. 6
Lattice Vibrations: I

Homework 3 (due 02/13)

Homework 3 Solutions

Lattice Vibrations: II

Feb. 13
Lattice Vibrations: III

Midterm I
ARC 204

Midterm I Solutions

Feb. 20 Free-Electron Model of Metals: I

Homework 4 (due 02/27)
Handout 4

Homework 4 Solutions

Free-Electron Model of Metals: II

Feb. 27
Free-Electron Model of Metals: III

Homework 5 (due 03/08)
Handout 5
Kittel Chapter 7

Homework 5 Solutions

APS March Meeting

March 5
Electronic Band Structure: I
Electronic Band Structure: II

March 12

Spring Break!

Spring Break!

March 19
Electronic Band Structure: III

Electronic Band Structure: IV

Homework 6 (due 04/02)
Handout 6

Homework 6 Solutions

March 26
Semiconductors: I

Semiconductors: II

April 2
Semiconductors: III

Homework 7 (due 04/19)
Handout 7

Homework 7 Solutions

Semiconductors: IV

April 9
Midterm II

ARC 204

Midterm II Solutions

Semiconductors (Devices): I

April 16 Semiconductors (Devices): II

Semiconductors (Devices): III

Homework 8 (due 04/30)
Handout 8

Homework 8 Solutions

April 23
Superconductivity: I

Superconductivity: II

April 30

Superconductivity: III and
Course Overview

May 4

8:00 - 11:00 A.M.
ARC 204


Final Solutions

 Exam Schedule

                   February 16                Midterm I

                     April 9                        Midterm II

              May 4                            Final


Breakdown of Grades

Midterm I
Midterm II

The lowest homework grade will be dropped.
Class participation is greatly encouraged and will
contribute positively towards the final grade.

Special Announcements

Please bring a calculator and an equation sheet
to the final!