Solid State Physics (PHYS*4150)

Code and section: PHYS*4150*01

Term: Winter 2020

Instructor: De-Tong Jiang


Course Information


Instructor: De-Tong Jiang Winter, 2020
MacN-223 (office)
MacN-020B (lab)

Calendar Description

Bonding in solids, thermal and electrical properties of solids, energy bands, imperfections in solids, properties of semi-conductors and insulators.


PHYS*4040 (Quantum Mechanics II), PHYS*4240 (Statistical Physics II) [or PHYS*3240 if you are a co-op student].


This course covers basic physics concepts and mathematical methods in studying crystalline solids. The aspects of solids will be studied include their structure, electronic, thermal and optical (if time permits) properties.


The choice of Schemes will favour the students’ final score.

Scheme 1 Weight
Quizzes  10%
Assignments  20%
Midterm  30%
Final Examination  40%


Scheme 2 Weight
Quizzes 10%
Assignments 20%
Midterm 20%
Final Examination 50%

Assignment deadlines will be enforced with a late penalty of 10% per day. Once the tutorial session covering content of the assignment is commenced no submission will be accepted.

Required Course Text

Solid State Physics", by N.W. Ashcroft and N.D. Mermin (1976, Thomson Learning).

Other Recommended Text

Introduction to Solid State Physics" by C. Kittel (John Wiley & Sons, 8th Ed., 2005).


M/W/F 10:30 am - 11:20 am
MacN 318


At most every other week in ~1.5 hr evening sessions, could be less frequent depending on the actual progress of the course delivery; will be run in MacN 318 (Detail dates will be announced both in class and on the course-link site at least one week before each session.)

Midterm Examination

Date/Time/Location TBA

Final Examination

April 13th (Wed.), 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Room TBA

Topics included in PHYS*4150

  1. Electrons in a Box
    Free electron metals: Drude theory (classical), Sommerfeld theory (quantum mechanical)
  2. Crystal Lattices of Solids
    Crystal lattices, reciprocal lattice, X-ray diffraction
  3. Electrons in a Static Lattice
    Part I: Bloch's theorem, nearly free electrons (NFE), band structure, Brillouin zones; and Fermi surfaces.
    Part II: Basics of tight-binding method for calculating the energy bands.
  4. Lattice Dynamics
    The classical harmonic crystal, the quantum harmonic crystal, measuring phonons-neutron/X-ray scattering, Raman scattering and Brillouin scattering.
  5. Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Semiconductors
    Semiconductor band structures, charge carrier effective mass, charge carrier mobility, p-n junction, rectification by a p-n junction.

Note: A biweekly course-content forecast will be issued on the course-link site regularly according to the progress of the course delivery.

Course Policies

Consideration for Illness, etc.

If you request academic consideration due to illness of a physical, psychological or emotional nature, or due to compassionate reasons, you may be required to provide suitable documentation (e.g., a medical certificate from a physician) at the discretion of the lecturer. See the Undergraduate Calendar for details.

Getting Help

Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm; or by appointment.
Additional office hours can be arranged during the time approaching exams, and these hours will be announced in class or via the course-link site.

Collaboration versus Copying

Students are encouraged to discuss with each other during working on the problem assignments. However, the work that you submit as your assignment must not be a copy of someone else's work. Identical scripts will be given a mark of zero and plagiarism will be dealt with severely. Proper citations should be provided when books and other articles are used in your works.

Course Assessment:

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strength and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member’s contribution in the area of teaching. The Department’s teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee only considers comments signed by students (choosing “I agree” in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.