"Quantum Physics of the Solid State: an Introduction" Draft foreword: 26/09/03 If only this book had been available when I was starting out in science! It would have saved me countless hours of struggle in trying to apply the general ideas of the standard solid-state text-books to solve real problems. The fact is that most of the texts stop at the point where the real difficulties begin. The great merit of this book is that it describes in an honest and detailed way what one really has to do in order to understand the multifarious properties of solids in terms of the fundamental physical theory of quantum mechanics. University students of the physical sciences are taught about the fundamental the ories, and know that quantum mechanics, together with relativity, is our basis for understanding the physical world. But the practical difficulties of using quantum mechanics to do anything useful are usually not very well explained. The truth is that the application of quantum theory to achieve our present detailed understand ing of solids has required the development of a large array of mathematical tech niques. This is closely analogous to the challenge faced long ago by theoretical astronomers in trying to apply Newton's equations of motion to the heavens -they too had to develop a battery of theoretical and computational techniques to do cal culations that could be compared with observation.
1 Structures.- 2 The reciprocal lattice and X-ray diffraction.- 3 Binding in Crystals.- 4 Atomic vibrations.- 5 Electrons in a periodic potential.- 6 Magnetism.- 7 Superconductivity.- 8 Dielectric materials.- 9 Modern methods of electronic structure calculations.
1 Structures.- 2 The reciprocal lattice and X-ray diffraction.- 3 Binding in Crystals.- 4 Atomic vibrations.- 5 Electrons in a periodic potential.- 6 Magnetism.- 7 Superconductivity.- 8 Dielectric materials.- 9 *Modern methods of electronic structure calculations.
The book targets a broad readership. First of all, it targets young researchers (postgraduate students) in solid state physics (both physicists and theoretical chemists) as it contains a wide and comprehensive coverage of all important branches of the subject including an up-to-date survey of recent revolutionary advances in quantum mechanics which have made it possible not only to calculate many properties of molecules and solids in close agreement with experiment, but to make reliable predictions in cases when a direct experiment is not possible (e.g. the Earth core). Secondly, it should be a valuable asset to established researchers in the areas of materials science, solid-state physics and chemistry due to very detailed explanations of a wide range of phenomena ranging from symmetry, lattice vibrations, electronic structure and superconductivity to magnetic and dielectric properties. Rigour and detail in explaining complicated mathematical techniques and in providing derivations when talking of various physical concepts are essential for those who would like to really understand things they have never had a chance to. Because of that and of the fact that the book contains a lot of material from different areas of solid-state physics retold from a single viewpoint, it should be indispensable for lecturers. Not only a number of courses, both general and specialised, should be possible to set up, but these courses may also be of a different level of difficulty ranging from undergraduate, postgraduate and then to highly advanced ones. This is because of a clear marking system adopted in the book. Hence, it should also be useful for advanced third- and fourth-year undergraduate students.
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