Solid State Physics

course ID





14 Weeks

Semester DD


Course details

Free electron models for transport phenomena in solids: Drude and London models. The magnetic penetration depth in London equations for the perfect conductor. Skin effect and anomalous skin effect. Hall effect and quantum Hall effect. Electrons in periodic potentials, the specific heat for the free electrons gas. The phonon spectrum in solids and the lattice specific heat. Phonon-electron interaction. Cooper pairs and Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory of superconductivity. The fundamental BCS state, the superconductive gap and the BCS state density. Quasi particles. Landau-Ginsburg theory or superconductivity and the magnetic properties of superconductors. Superconductive condensation energy, Landau domains and the problem of the energy at the interfaces superconductor-normal in the intermediate state. Superconductive tunneling and Josephson effect (weak superconductivity). Macroscopic Quantum Coherence, the solid state quantum-bits (qubits) and quantum computing.



This class aims at providing an advanced knowledge of solid state physics with special emphasis devoted to identify and classify condensed macroscopic states and mesoscopic physics. The main purpose of the teaching is to transmit the relevance of distinguishing between microscopisc and macroscopic states in solid state physics. Macroscopic states, concerning coherent responses of large numbers of particles sometimes seem to ignore microscopic struttures. Principles of electron tunnelling spectroscopy are given.


Students have the possibility of increasng their background of knowledge in condensed matter physics and to realize the possibilities existing in solid state physics as "laboratory" for quantum mechanics, both at macroscopic and microscopic level. Thus, students can improve their capability to tame quantum mechanics issues.

Students should learn how to distingush the relevance of a microscopic or a macroscopic approach in a solid state physics problem. The two aspect indeed are somewhat complementary although in some cases it seems that the microscopic aspect can even be ignored in favor of a macroscopic analysis. Students have to learn how to judge the relevance of their knowledge for experimental realities.


All through the course information is given which can give ideas about the relevance off developing an original point of view over problems and conjectures. Cortroversies which have been around in solid state physics for years will be illustrated as well as original ideas which brough to relevant discoveries. Examples in the field of superconductivity are given, like the negative opinion of Wolfgang Pauli and Felix Bloch of theories of the superconducting state, as well as the initial negative consideration of John Bardeen on the Josephson effect. Over all evidence shall be given that problems should always be analyzed forgetting pressures from establishment and unproper conditioning


Communication is a key element in science today. The relevant media available for presentation and communication of results and researches are given.


Students must improve their capability to tame complex problems concerning both experimental and theoretical issues in solid state physics. They should also learn what are parameters and processes relevant for further investigations at fundamenal and applied level.