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Are gases included in sold-state physics?

  1. Jul 4, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone,

    Is the behavior of gasses, on a quantum level, covered in solid-state physics? If so, where can I start? My knowledge of quantum mechanics is very conceptual, very limited in the mathematical part. But by no means do I completely understand all the concepts, just that most of the knowledge I have is conceptual. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated, thanks!
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  3. Jul 5, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    What does "solid state" mean?
  4. Jul 5, 2013 #3


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    Typically solid-state means <crystalline> solid-state. Gases, liquids and amorpheus solids don't form crystals.
  5. Jul 5, 2013 #4
    Studying gases on their own belongs to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. However, the study of gas/solid interface is at the boundary between solid state physics and other fields (physical chemistry, materials physics, ...).

    Having said that, there are phenomena in solids that can be understood based on the physics of ideal gases (classical or quantum). For example point defects in crystalline solids can be treated as an ideal classical gas. Another example, the electrons at the interface between certain metal oxides behave as a 2-dimensional gas. There are more and more examples. So to study solid state physics, you still have to have a good knowledge of gases.
    A good start on the undergraduate level is the book by D. McQuarrie

    Beyond this general introduction, you need to specify more what you want to study in order to get help.
  6. Jul 5, 2013 #5


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    To some degree quantum gases are also considered in solid state physics, because the quasi-electrons of metals tend to form them (Fermi gas/Fermi liquid). Also, the electron gas is important both conceptually and practically in that it forms the basis of most density functionals used in Kohn-Sham density functional theory (DFT).
  7. Jul 5, 2013 #6
    Thanks for the input everyone! I appreciate it greatly.
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