Physics 880.06: Condensed Matter Physics (Fall, 2010)

[ Introduction and General Format | Syllabus ]
[Office Hours; Grader]
[ Problem Sets | Term Project]
[Notes| Random Information]

Introduction and General Format

Physics 880.06 is the first quarter of a projected three quarter sequence on Condensed Matter Physics. The main text for the first quarters will be Ashcroft and Mermin, ``Solid State Physics'' (Saunders, 1976). Although this is a rather old book, it has most of the basic material to be covered in the fall quarter. Some supplementary material may be drawn from Michael P. Marder ``Condensed Matter Physics'' (Corrected Printing, Wiley Interscience, 2000), and Chaikin and Lubensky, ``Principles of Condensed Matter Physics,'' (Cambridge U. P., 1995). I will also distribute my own notes.

Suggested background includes quantum mechanics and electricity and magnetism at the undergraduate level. Some background in undergraduate statistical physics would be useful, but will be developed as needed. The course should be accessible to many first year grad students and possibly even a very well prepared undergraduate. If you have questions about the needed background, please get in touch with me.

We will meet T and Th from 1:00 to 2:18 in Scott Lab Rm. E0103, The instructor is David Stroud (email; telephone 292-8140; office PRB 2048).

Grading will be based on homework (about 50%) and a small project (about 50%). You can turn your homework in class, in Michael Herman's mailbox (first choice), in my mailbox, to me directly in my office, or you can slip it under my office door until midnight on Thursday. I will discard your grade on the lowest homework set. Grades will be distributed according to the usual scale for 880xx courses.


For the fall, quarter, I plan to cover Drude and Sommerfeld free-electron theory of metals, crystal lattices, the reciprocal lattice, methods for measuring crystal structures (X-ray and neutron diffraction), electronic states in a periodic potential, methods for calculating electronic structure, band structure of selected solids, and possibly, if time permits, the classical and quantum theory of the harmonic lattice, and even the semiclassical theory of electron dynamics and electronic conduction.

Office Hours, Grader

My office hours will be Tu and Th from 2:30 - 3:30 in PRB 4068 (right after class).

The grader is Michael Herman. He can be reached via email at His office is PRB0180; however, he is not always there and email is usually a better way to reach him.

Problem Sets

oProblem Set 1

oSolutions to PS 1

oProblem Set 2

oSolutions to PS 2

oProblem Set 3

oSolutions to PS 3

oProblem Set 4

oSolutions to PS4

oProblem Set 5

oSolutions to PS5

oA slightly more legible version of the solutions to PS5.

oProblem Set 6

oSolutions to PS6

Term Project

oList of some possible topics, and due date


oA few useful concepts

oLecture of Sept. 23 (Drude model)

oLecture of Sept. 28 (Sommerfeld model; properties of degenerate free electron gas)

oLecture of Sept. 30 (Sommerfeld theory of transport in metals; Bravais lattices and crystal structure)

oLecture of October 5 (Reciprocal lattice)

oLecture of October 7 (mostly X-ray diffraction from periodic solids).

oLectures of October 12 and part of October 14 (electron states in a periodic potential).

oSeventh set of lecture notes.

oEighth set of lecture notes.

oNinth set of lecture notes.

oTenth set of lecture notes (classical theory of lattice vibrations in periodic solids). Note: numbers are not in sequence with previous notes.

oEleventh set of lecture notes (semiclassical theory of electron dynamics in solids; applications to electron motion in electric and magnetic fields).

oTwelfth set of lecture notes (electronic transport in solids, mainly using Boltzmann equation; application to electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and thermoelectric coefficients).

Random Information

o Paul Drude

o Arnold Sommerfeld

o Felix Bloch

o Leon Brillouin

o William H. Bragg

o William Lawrence Bragg