33-448 - Introduction to Solid State Physics
Spring 2021

Class meets MWF 5:50-6:40PM in Wean Hall 7316
Website http://euler.phys.cmu.edu/widom/teaching/33-448
Professor Mike Widom, Office 6305 Wean Hall
e-mail: widom@cmu.edu, Phone: 412-268-7645
Office Hours: Any time I'm not busy

COVID-19 considerations for Spring 2021: This class is being offered as in-person plus remote with rotation. Students with last name beginning A-La can attend in-person on mondays, those with names Le-Z can attend on wednesdays; fridays will be prerecorded remote only. Weeks 1 and 2 will be remote only. All lectures will be available via Zoom, and links to recordings can be found on the course page on Canvas. Class discussion (student questions, etc.) will take place on Piazza.

What you will learn: This course presents an introduction to the physics of solid state materials, with an emphasis on traditional bulk crystalline materials but with occasional examples drawn from modern topics such as quantum wells, graphene, etc. Topics will be broadly separated into two segments. First, in the physics of the solid continuum, you will apply simple classical or quantum mechanical models to examine electronic, magnetic, vibrational, optical and thermal properties of matter. Next, in the physics of the crystal lattice you will learn diffraction techniques for probing the structure and symmetries of crystals and understand how diffraction of phonons and electrons create band structures and enable technologies such as semiconductor devices.

What you should know: Prior familiarity with quantum mechanics is assumed at the level of 33-234 or 33-225, and statistical mechanics/thermodynamics at the level of 33-341.

Books: Several excellent books are available in the E&S library.
1. Simon, The Oxford Solid State Basics, e-book https://cmu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01CMU_INST/6lpsnm/alma991015363059704436
2. Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics (8th edition), QC176.K5 2005
3. Guinier, The Structure of Matter: From the blue sky to liquid crystals, QC173.G82613 1984
4. Guinier and Jullien, The Solid State: From superconductors to superalloys, QC176.G8513 1989
5. Ashcroft and Mermin, Solid State Physics, QC176.A83
6. Goodstein, States of Matter, QC173.3.G66

The principal content of the course will be drawn from Simon, including homework assignments. Kittel provides an alternative presentation of these topics. The books by Guinier display a broad view of condensed matter physics emphasizing a qualitative understanding and real-world relevance. Ashcroft and Mermin is a popular graduate level text at an advanced level. Goodstein has excellent background material on thermal physics, a chapter on solids offering a nice "thumbnail sketch" of this course, and a chapter on superconductivity.

Grading: Letter grades will be based on homework, midterm exams and a final exam. You can view your grades on Canvas. Homework assignments are listed here and will be handed in on Canvas. Late homeworks will be accepted with a 10% deduction.

Course Outline:

Note this outline is only approximate. Actual class coverage can be found here.