Solid State Physics (PHYS*4150)

Code and section: PHYS*4150*01

Term: Winter 2021

Instructor: De-Tong Jiang


Course Information


De-Tong Jiang Winter, 2021

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, and thermal properties.


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

Scheme 1 Weight Scheme 2 Weight
Participation 5% Participation 5%
Quizzes 20% Quizzes 20%
Assignments 15% Assignments 15%
Midterm 30% Midterm 20%
Final Examination 30% Final Exam 40%

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.

Course Materials

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

Online Zoom Meeting, to facilitate the in-class discussions (a form of participation) it is expected that all participants have their camera turned on. Meeting
invitations will be post on the course-link site, and maybe will be sent to the class participants for the first few meetings to establish this routine.


Weekly, distributed and submitted online, take-home multiple choice open-books tests.


Roughly every other week in an evening session; (Detail dates will be announced on the course-link site at least one week before each session.)


Midterm Examination

Date/Time TBA, Room Virtual.

Final Examination

April 27th (Wed.), 8:30 am to 10:30 am. Room Virtual.

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

Getting Help

Office Hours: Thursday 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, I will initiate a zoom meeting and sent out invitation to everyone, you decide if you need to participate and if you prefer to discuss with me individually we could have that arranged by separate appointments but not during these office hours.

Additional office hours can be arranged during the time approaching exams, and these hours will be announced in class or via the course D2L site.

Per request or the need of the class, will initiate discussion areas on the D2L site associated with specific assignments, quizzes, exams, to discuss in a forum fashion.

The University will not normally require verification of illness (doctor's notes) for fall 2020 or winter 2021 semester courses. However, requests for Academic
Consideration may still require medical documentation as appropriate.

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.

By enrolling in a course, unless explicitly stated and brought forward to their instructor, it is assumed that students agree to the possibility of being recorded during lecture, seminar or other “live” course activities, whether delivery is in-class or online/remote.

If a student prefers not to be distinguishable during a recording, they may:

  1. turn off their camera
  2. mute their microphone
  3. edit their name (e.g., initials only) upon entry to each session
  4. use the chat function to pose questions.

Students who express to their instructor that they, or a reference to their name or person, do not wish to be recorded may discuss possible alternatives or accommodations with their instructor.

Online Behaviour

Inappropriate online behaviour will not be tolerated. Examples of inappropriate online behaviour include:

  • Posting inflammatory messages about your instructor or fellow students
  • Using obscene or offensive language online
  • Copying or presenting someone else's work as your own
  • Adapting information from the Internet without using proper citations or references
  • Buying or selling term papers or assignments
  • Posting or selling course materials to course notes websites
  • Having someone else complete your quiz or completing a quiz for/with another student
  • Stating false claims about lost quiz answers or other assignment submissions
  • Threatening or harassing a student or instructor online
  • Discriminating against fellow students, instructors and/or TAs
  • Using the course website to promote profit-driven products or services
  • Attempting to compromise the security or functionality of the learning management system
  • Sharing your user name and password
  • Recording lectures without the permission of the instructor

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.