Physics 140A: Introduction to solid state physics

PDF syllabus for Phys 140A

My lecture notes:

Phys 140A lecture 1–course overview and introduction to crystal lattices

Phys 140A lecture 2–Bravais lattices + important crystal structures

Phys 140A lecture 3–Reciprocal lattice I

Phys 140A lecture 4–Reciprocal lattice II

Phys 140A lecture 5–Structure factor

Phys 140A lecture 6–Ionic crystals

Phys 140A lecture 7–Covalent, metallic, and van der waals solids

Phys 140A lecture 8–Elastic strain, compliance, and stiffness

Phys 140A lecture 9–elastic waves in cubic crystals

Phys 140A lecture 10–Atomic vibrations in crystals (1D)

Phys 140A lecture 11–Transverse waves, counting modes, quantization of elastic waves

Phys 140A lecture 12–Phonon heat capacity and Debye model

Phys 140A lecture 13–Einstein model, thermal expansion

Phys 140A lecture 14–Thermal conductivity

Phys 140A lecture 15–Free electron gas

Phys 140A lecture 16–Heat capacity of free electron gas

Phys 140A lecture 17–Electric conductivity, hall effect, electronic thermal conductivity

Phys 140A lecture 18–Review for final

Textbook: “Introduction to Solid State Physics, 8th edition” by C. Kittel

TA: Joseph Trost

TA office hours: TBD

Assignments: Weekly problem sets, one in-class midterm (date TBD), one final (March 22, 1-3PM, Phys 140A)

Grading: Homework 20%, Midterm 30%, final 50%

Homework policy: Homework assigned on Tuesday and due at the beginning of class the following Tuesday.  Lowest homework grade will be dropped.  Late homework: 50% deduction if turned in within 24 hours, 75% deduction if turned in 24-48 hours of due date, not accepted after 48 hours.

Exam policy: One handwritten note sheet (8.5 x 11”, front and back) may be used for the midterm and final, and will be collected with the exam.

Overview: Physics 140A is an introductory course to the physics of crystalline solids, to prepare students for understanding applications of this field, for pursuing research in this area, or for preparing for graduate study.  Topics covered in 140A include:

  • Crystal structure
  • Reciprocal lattice and diffraction
  • Crystal Binding
  • Elastic properties of solids
  • Phonons: microscopic and aggregate considerations
  • Free electron gas


Link to physics course listings/descriptions:

  • Phys 115A (Foundations of Quantum Mechanics) or equivalent (especially harmonic oscillator and quantum particle in a box)
  • Phys 104A (Introduction to Methods of Mathematical physics) or equivalent (specifically, Fourier analysis, vector spaces, and partial differential equations will be used frequently in the course)
  • Phys 9B,C,D or 9HB,C,D or equivalent