Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Spring 2010

Course Title: Physics 732: Introduction to Solid State Physics II

Instructor: Prof. Ted Einstein

Office: Physics Bldg. , Room 2310; Phone: (301) 405-6147

e-mail: einstein (at)

Course Description: Physics 732 is a continuation of Physics 731, but with an emphasis on contemporary topics rather than fundamentals.

Time; Place: Tuesdays 2:30-3:45, Thursdays 3:15-4:30, room 4220; Physics Bldg.; the unconventional hours are to permit (and encourage!) attendance of the Condensed Matter Seminar (Thursdays at 2pm) and the Informal Statistical Mechanics Seminar (Tuesdays at 1:15pm) and Physics Colloquium (Tuesdays at 4pm). Hope the benefit outweighs any confusion or scheduling hassles.

Office hours: After class, by arrangement (email or phone), and to be announced.

Teaching Assistant/Grader: None

Course Text: Giuseppe Grosso and Giuseppe Pastori Parravicini, Solid State Physics, Academic, 2000; 012304460X.

Very recent texts, appearing after selection of course text:

Harald Ibach and Hans Lüth, Solid-State Physics: An Introduction to Principles of Materials Science, 4th ed., Springer, 2009; pb: 978-3-540-93804-0.

Leonard M. Sander, Advanced Condensed Matter Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2009; 978-0521872904

Physics 731 Course Text: Neil W. Ashcroft and N. David Mermin, Solid State Physics, Saunders College/Holt, Rinehart, and Winston -> Brooks Cole, 1976; ISBN 0030839939. Students are expected to have a copy of this, or at least access to it, from previous coursework.

There are MANY other good references. See the class reference list

Homework: There will be occasional homework assignments, especially in the earlier part of the class. They are an important part of the course; to master the material generally requires doing problems conscientiously. But homework is not a take-home test: Students are encouraged to discuss the problems with each other after thinking about them alone, and to explore the physics behind the problems. However, each student should write answers individually. Solutions will be distributed/posted on the next lecture day ("deadline date") after the due date. Since there is no TA for this course, the marking of the submitted sets will be less than ideal.

Grading: The course grade will be based primarily on total points, on the following basis if we have a TA:

Hour test or quizzes ~21%

Final exam ~32%

Homework ~15%

Presentation and accompanying submission ~32%

Near the end of the semester, students will present a half-hour talk on a topic related to their research work (if in condensed matter physics) or to some aspect of condensed matter physics not covered in lectures.

How Phys 732 will be continued/completed in case of an emergency that will close UM for an extended period of time (UM-mandated syllabus item):

The above course outline will be followed using remote teaching to the extent possible in such a situation. Information on continuing course requirements will be posted on the course web page and/or sent by direct e-mail to all students. Students will be responsible for material/assignments disseminated in this way.
In the event that the university-maintained web pages and e-mail service disappear during the closure, the course content will be shortened as needed, and grades will be assigned based on work completed by that time. The grade of "incomplete" will not be used.
If the closure is extended, UM may deign to institute formal campus-wide policies to deal with the situation. Any such UM rulings will be followed, superseding the previous.

Topics will include the list below, but will also depend on the interests of the students enrolled.

Magnetism and spin waves

Pauli paramagnetism, diamagnetism, ferromagnetism: discrete vs. itinerant

Spin waves, in comparison to phonons

A&M: 672-682, 694-701, 718-721---G&P: 627-635, 638-643, 659-66---S: 102-107---H&L: 191-219

Phase transitions:

Lattice-gas models, mean field: strengths & limitations, alloys, Monte Carlo methods, transfer-matrix methods

A&M: 712-71---G&P: 620-627, 635-638, 643-647---S: 9-15


Superconductivity: BCS model, phenomenology, Josephson junctions, high-Tc materials

A&M: ch. 34---G&P: ch. 18---S: 236-261 ---H&L: ch. 10


Electronic total-energy calculations:

Band-structure calculations, muffin tins, pseudopotentials, APW

Semiempirical methods

First-principles, density-functional theory, local-density approximation

Ultrasoft pseudopotentials, PAW, and modern packages like VASP


Surface physics:

Work functions, surface states, steps, roughening, quantum corrals


Graphene, nanotubes, etc.

Tight-binding model, Dirac dispersion, ...

Last updated:Feb. 3, 2010