Solid State Physics
Objectives
The major goal of this course is to give to the students the basic notions necessary in order to understand the physical properties of condensed matter. The argument is extremely vast therefore the course focuses on a particular aspect, the periodic structures and the physical consequences of the translational symmetry starting from the Bloch theorem down to its various implications. These concepts are applied to the vibrational properties of periodic lattices and to the electron states in a periodic potential. A brief introduction to a description of solids in terms of elementary excitations is also given. Part of the course is also dedicated to the methods of statistical physics which are used for discussing the thermodinamical properties of solids. The final part of the course is devoted to superconductivity whose phenomenological aspects are presented and the phenomenon is discussed in terms of the transition phase theory of Landau.
Syllabus
The course focuses on the fundamental concepts of condensed matter physics and is mainly devoted to the study of periodic structures and their properties.
The topics covered are:
 Periodic structures and their description in real space
 Elements of the theory of symmetry
 Reciprocal space
 Diffraction
 Elements of statistical physics
 Classical theory of lattice vibrations: dispersion relations
 Quantum theory of lattice vibrations: the concept of phonon
 Electronic states in a periodic potential: the Bloch theorem
 Models with quasifree electrons and strong bond
 Facilities bands of insulators, metals and semicondutturi
 Semiclassical dynamics of electrons in a solid
 Interaction between electrons
 Superconductivity
The topics, many of them of considerable complexity, will be presented seeking to highlight their physical meaning and making sure to avoid it being overshadowed by the mathematical formalism. Although this is a course on the theoretical foundations of the theory of solids, the concepts will be exemplified from time to time by reference to experimental techniques actually used in the field of condensed matter.
The course will consist of lectures and exercises during which the topics of the lectures will be discussed at a deeper level and in relation to their experimental implications.
