Special Topics: Solid State Physics

Physics 140. Fall 2018. Physics and Astronomy Department. Saint Mary's College of California

This course is an introduction to solid state physics. Topics include crystal structure, mechanical properties, thermal properties of the lattice, electronic properties of metals, semiconductors, and magnetism. Prerequisites: Physics 1-4 and Math 39.

This course is an opportunity to understand the principles used to describe various solid state phenomena, study applications of theory to real world problems, gain further experience with mathematical techniques used in physics and engineering, and develop confidence in using previously learned material to understand new topics.

Instructor information


Events (extra credit)

Project information

Exam information

Review sheets, solutions and grade distributions


week Tuesday Thursday notes
8.28. Intro. Bonding.
probs 1-4 due 8.30
8.30. Bonding cont'd
Periodic table, NaCl
probs 5-14 due 9.4
09.04 Crystal structure.
schematic, TEM images, 3D views
probs 1-7 due 9.6
09.06 Crystal structure cont'd.
Miller indices, xray 1, xray 2, XRD, microscopy
probs 8-15 due 9.11
Last day for add/drop Tue9.4
EC: Advice with a Slice. M9.10 5:30pm
09.11 Mechanical properties.
fundamental properties, elastic deformation
probs 1-7 due 9.13
09.13 Mechanical prop contd.
plastic deformation. edge dislocation, slip, crack
probs 8-13 due 9.18
09.18 Thermal properties of the lattice: lattice vibrations, 1D infinite chain, dispersion
phase and group velocity example1 example2, periodicity of k
probs 1-6 due 9.20
09.20 Thermal properties: 1D infinite chain w/ 2 atoms, finite chain, phonons
probs 7-11 due 9.25
09.25 Thermal properties: macroscopic quantities
heat capacity, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion
probs 12-19 due 9.27
09.27 Thermal properties: classical and Einstein models of heat capacity
probs 1-3 due 10.02
6 10.02 Exam Review
Please identify problems/topics you need to work on.
Review sheet. Solutions: bonding, crystal structure, mechanical properties, and thermal properties of the lattice
10.04 EXAM 1
grades, solutions
10.09 Thermal properties: Debye model of heat capacity
Cdiamond, Einstein model, k-space
probs 4-10 due 10.11
10.11 Thermal properties: thermal conductivity, thermal expansion
heat sinks, K(T) for Si
probs 11-15 due 10.16
10.16 Thermal properties of the lattice: recap
all q's due 10.23
10.23 Electrical properties of metals: classical
Drude model, d.c. conductivity
all q's due 10.25
10.25 Electrical properties: QM approach
energy bands
probs 1-8 due 10.30
10.30 Electrical properties: QM approach
free electron model
probs 9-13 due 11.01
11.01 Electrical properties: QM approach
free electron model (contd)
electrons participating in conduction
probs 14-19 due 11.06
11.06 Semiconductors
all probs due 11.15
11.08 Review
Review sheet. Solutions: thermal properties part I, part II. electrical properties: classical, QM
registration week for Spring
EC: VOTING DAY. Tuesday Nov 6
11.13 EXAM 2 11.15 Magnetism
susceptibility, diamagnetism, paramagnetism
all probs due 11.27 (orig 11.20)
PDFW deadline 11.15
11.20 cancelled 11.22 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
11.27 Review 11.29 PROJECT presentation and paper due
Assignment, feedback due Fri 11.30