Solid State Physics (PHYS*4150)

Code and section: PHYS*4150*01

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Detong Jiang


Course Information

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, which forms a foundation for exploring the more general subject of condensed-matter physics. The aspects of solids will be studied include their structure (structure in the sense of both the direct lattice and its reciprocal lattice), electronic, and thermal properties.


Instructor: De-Tong Jiang


10:30 am - 11:20 am
MACN 318

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).


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

Assessment Scheme 1 Scheme 2
Quizzes 15% 15%
Assignments 25% 25%
Midterm 30% 20%
Final Examination 30% 40%
Total 100% 100%

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.


Weekly, to be distributed/submitted/evaluated online, take-home openresources tests to facilitate prompt reviews of the material covered in the week.


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

Midterm Examination

Date/Time/Location TBA.

Final Examination

Monday 8:30 am – 10:30 am, April 17th, 2023, Location TBA.

Course Topics

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: Introduction of tight-binding method for calculating the energy bands.
  4. Lattice Dynamics
    The classical harmonic crystal, the quantum harmonic crystal; (if time permits) measuring phonons -- neutron/X-ray scattering, Raman scattering and Brillouin scattering.
  5. Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Semiconductors (if time permits)
    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. 0.2 added for typo correction in lecture notes

Course Policies

(Not) Working with other students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student’s own work. While students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas prior to writing up the solutions, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions. The assignments are not group projects, and it is important that you do not show your final written solutions to other students.

Getting help

Office Hours: Date of the week and time TBA, a zoom meeting will be initiated and the meeting invitation made known to the class (same meeting ID for the entire semester), 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-link site. Per request or the need of the class, will initiate discussion areas on the course-link site associated with specific assignments, quizzes, exams, to discuss in a forum fashion.

Course policy on group work

See the section on “(Not) working with other students”. 

Course policy on electronic devices and recording of lectures

What you do with your laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc, during lectures is your own business, so long as it does not create a distraction for your classmates or the instructor. (The instructor is very easily distracted.) If such a distraction arises you will be asked to leave the classroom.

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

University Statements

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate and Graduate Calendars.

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.

When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.

For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.

Academic Calendars