PHY 203: Solid State Physics I

3 credits | Prerequisites: PHY 102, 103 for Major; PHY 102, MAT 104 for Minor

Course rationale

This is one of the mandatory courses offered by the university, which fulfills the requirement for graduates who wish to major in Physics and is offered as one of the Minor Courses for Mathematics, and CSE majors. The course forms a one-year standard course in Solid State Physics. It is highly recommended that the students must have a fair amount of background in mathematics. Especially, knowledge of Calculus will be required sometimes. The course will lay emphasis mainly on a physical description of processes rather than complicated mathematical derivations.

Course content

The Crystalline State: Primary concept of Primitive and convectional unit cell; the concept of lattice and Basis; Crystal Symmetry; Bravais Lattice; Reciprocal lattice. Crystal planes and Miller indices: Some Crystal Structures; X-ray Diffraction; Bragg’s law; Laue Diffraction; Structure Factor. Classification of Crystals: Interatomic Force; Classification of Solids, Covalent; Ionic; Metal; Valance and Vander Waals Crystals; Lattice energy of Ionic Crystal; Madelung Constant and energy. Defects in Crystals: Consequences of defects on mechanical properties; Schottky and Frenkel type of defects concentration; Dislocations. Lattice Vibrations: Failure of Classical theory of specific heat capacity; Phonons; Normal Modes of vibration in Monoatomic and Diatomic Linear Chains; Einstein Model and Debye theory of specific heat. Free Electron Theory of Metals: Classical Electron theory; Sommerfeld theory; Box quantization; Density of States; Fermi Surface; Fermi Energy; Electrical conductivity; Wiedemann’s Franz Law. Introduction to Semiconductor: Energy Levels and Energy Bands, Classification of solids in terms of energy bands; Bonds in semiconductor; Intrinsic & Extrinsic semiconductor; n-type & p-type semiconductor; p-n junction; semiconductor diode; forward/reverse bias; I-V curve. Band theory of Solids: Electron in periodic potential: Kronig-Penney model; Schrodinger’s Equation; Bloch Function; Brillouin Zones; Reduced Zone Scheme.

Course objectives

  1.  Familiarize and memorize the basic concept of solids, particularly crystalline solids.
  2. Understand and memorize the crystal planes and Miller indices.
  3. Recognize and solve numerical problems related to crystal lattices using the proper mathematical forms, like algebra and basic calculus.
  4. Familiarize and remember the basic concepts of classical and quantum theories of crystal lattice vibrations.
  5. Familiarize the classical electron theory to understand and memorize the density of states of metals and their electrical conductivity.
  6. Familiarize and memorize the energy bands in semiconductors and their current-voltage characteristics and biases.
  7. Undertake electron in a periodic potential to solve the Schrödinger equation with the help of the Bloch function to classify zone scheme in band theory of solids.


  1. Solid State Physics: Philadelphia.: Neil. W. Ashcroft and N. David. Mermin; Cornell University Saunders Co.: Lott et al.: 2nd edition.
  2. An introduction to Solid State Physics: C. Kittle; John Wiley and Sons; N.Y: John Wiley & Sons: 8th edition.
  3. Introduction to Solid State Physics: A. J. Dekker; Prentice-Hall N.J: L.V. Azaroff, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd
  4. Introductory Solid State Physics: H. P. Myers: CRC Press: 2nd edition.
  5. Elementary Solid State Physics: M. Ali Omar, PEARSON Education, Fourth Indian Reprint 2004