340 pages | 274 B/W Illus.
Enables students to easily grasp basic solid state physics principles
Keeping the mathematics to a minimum yet losing none of the required rigor, Understanding Solid State Physics clearly explains basic physics principles to provide a firm grounding in the subject. The author underscores the technological applications of the physics discussed and emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of scientific research.
After introducing students to solid state physics, the text examines the various ways in which atoms bond together to form crystalline and amorphous solids. It also describes the measurement of mechanical properties and the means by which the mechanical properties of solids can be altered or supplemented for particular applications. The author discusses how electromagnetic radiation interacts with the periodic array of atoms that make up a crystal and how solids react to heat on both atomic and macroscopic scales. She then focuses on conductors, insulators, semiconductors, and superconductors, including some basic semiconductor devices. The final chapter addresses the magnetic properties of solids as well as applications of magnets and magnetism.
This accessible textbook provides a useful introduction to solid state physics for undergraduates who feel daunted by a highly mathematical approach. By relating the theories and concepts to practical applications, it shows how physics is used in the real world.
Solutions manual available upon qualifying course adoption
Where Sharon Ann Holgate has succeeded in this book is in packing it with examples of the application of solid state physics to technology. … All the basic elements of solid state physics are covered … . The range of materials is good, including as it does polymers and glasses as well as crystalline solids. In general, the style makes for easy reading. … Overall this book succeeds in showing the relevance of solid state physics to the modern world … .
—Contemporary Physics, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2011
I was indeed amused and inspired by the wonderful images throughout the book, carefully selected by the author. These images and corresponding contexts, together with the thoughtful considerations of the difficulties of the freshmen to solid state physics, who may find it hard to follow the maths in the classics like Kittel’s or Mermin’s, fulfills very well the goal of the author … this book is fun, at least for me! Why not have a copy together with Kittel’s and Mermin’s for the visiting undergraduate or even postgraduate students who are becoming frustrated with classics.
—Yang Gan in Reviews, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2010
I enjoyed reading the book and it is a refreshing approach — it is very up to date and pitched at a good level to engage undergraduates new to the subject. I am happy to recommend this book to my students.
—Dr. Robert H. Hadfield, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland
The book is written in a very user-friendly and engaging style, as one might expect from a science writer/journalist. This way, the author succeeds in making the material approachable and interesting. The presentation is not as formal as most treatments. The emphasis is less on the theoretical and mathematical basis of the subject and more on the intuitive understanding of ideas and concepts, but the approach is fresh and the explanations are clear. What I like most of all is that it brings solid-state physics up-to-date, introducing modern topics and showing how the core ideas in condensed matter physics underpin so much of the technology we use today.
—Professor Andrew Boothroyd, Oxford University, UK
Crystal Clear: Bonding and Crystal Structures
The Rejection of Perfection: Defects, Amorphous Materials, and Polymers
Stressed Out: The Mechanical Properties of Solids
In, Out, Shake It All About: Diffraction, Phonons, and Thermal Properties of Solids
Unable to Resist: Metals, Semiconductors, and Superconductors
Chips with Everything: Semiconductor Devices and Dielectrics
Living in a Magnetic World: Magnetism and Its Applications
Appendix A: Some Useful Maths
Appendix B: Vibrations and Waves
Appendix C: Revision of Atomic Physics
Appendix D: Revision of Quantum Mechanics
Appendix E: Revision of Statistical Mechanics
Appendix F: Glossary of Terms