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Best Solid State Physics Book

  1. Nov 21, 2006 #1
    Hey everyone!
    I'm looking for a real good Solid State Physics Book! Can someone recommend me something? I have heard that Kittels book is really bad!

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2006 #2

    You might wanna try out Ashcroft and Mermins book entitled (surprise surprise...) "Solid State Physics"! The deriviations are more detailed than in Kittels book and therefore easier to follow. In addition, the physical explanations are in my opinion better and more detailed.

    One problem with the book is it's age. The book is from 1977. But if you are just learning solid state physics you should do fine, the free electron model and the crystal structure of solids has not changed since then :)
  4. Nov 21, 2006 #3

    Dr Transport

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    If you know solid state physics, Ashcroft & Mermin is good. To learn the basics so that you can use A&M, Kittel is better (no wonder it is in its 8th ed), Blakemore is at the same level as Kittel and just as readable.

    A&M is heavy on metals and light on semiconductors.

    Both Kittels' and Blakemores' books have much more about semiconductors.

    Another couple of good books were written by Harrison, they rely heavily on pseudo-potential models, although not very easy to learn from, they are useful.
  5. Dec 6, 2006 #4
    My solid state class next semester is using:

    M. A. Omar, “Elementary Solid State Physics”

    Anyone out there ever use this text? Should I get a supplementary text?

    Edit: It's an undergrad junior-senior level intro course
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  6. Dec 8, 2006 #5
    there're 5 books .
    but how can i download them?
    Are there some links for them?
    thank you..
  7. Dec 8, 2006 #6


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    You can't. These are copyrighted books. You buy them, or borrow them. Unless the author or the publisher releases them online, publishing links to any of them is a copyright violation, something PF does not condone.

  8. Jan 12, 2007 #7
    I got Ziman's Principles of the Theory of Solids, 2nd ed, for five bucks once and would recommend it to a sr undergrad/1st yr grad. Very readable
  9. Feb 3, 2007 #8

    In my experience, Omar's "Elementary Solid State Physics" is the best for undergraduates because the QM requirements are light. It is a better choice than Kittel's book. Ashcroft & Mermins book "Solid state physics" is IMO the best graduate level book. My personal favorite SS Physics book is "Atomic and Electronic Structure of Solids" by Kaxiras because its a computational Solid State physics book.

    Bet Regards

  10. Jan 20, 2008 #9


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    I began studying Solid State Physics in a book entitled Solid State and Semiconductor Physics by J. P. McKelvey because this book had a Spanish translation. Now, I can read English but I still prefers McKelvey´s principally because it does not assume you know about Quantum Mechanics. The first eight chapters cover approximately the same as Kittel and the last eight deal with semiconductor physics. There is a new book from the same author which focuses only on Solid State because the last eight chapters of his old book are probably outdated.
    I do not like Kittel because derivations are not complete and although Ashcroft and Mermin is better, is very extense. McKelvey first book focuses in topics that you will need if you will study Semiconductor Physics and this is precisely my interest.
    I was surprised to know that McKelvey´s book is not famous in other countries since in Latin America is practically the obliged reference. Editorials are not interested in publish more Solid State books in Spanish, because that subject has been dropped from Engineering curricula.
    Lydia Alvarez
  11. Jan 20, 2008 #10


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    Does that mean it develops the QM tools as necessary, or that it completely avoids all QM? I can hardly see how one can learn much Solid State physics without QM.
  12. Jan 20, 2008 #11


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    Hello Gokul43201:
    Chapter 4 covers an introduction to Quantum Mechanics from basic concepts of quantum physics passing through Bohr model, Schrodinger equation, infinite walls potential well, finite walls potential well, tunnelling, quantum harmonic oscillator, quantum hydrogen atom, and ending with the periodic system.
    Chapter 5 does something similar with Statistical Mechanics.
    In Mexico, in Engineering Schools, Semiconductor Devices are programmed for sophomores who does not know anything about Modern Physics, Quantum Mechanics or Solid State. As you can understand, we are in an impossible situation. Some teachers opt for give the content of a Modern Physics course, other that of a Solid State course and many discuss only qualitative explanations of devices, which frequently are wrong.
    In Graduate school, I asked for a Quantum Mechanics course (we used Cohen-Tanoudji) and only after that I began understanding what Kittel was talking about. I suggested faculty to receive students from a Engineering background with Quantum Mechanics and they say that "it was not really necessary"
    McKelvey´s book was for me an open door, something that I could manage to understand.
  13. Jan 21, 2008 #12
    The third edition of Kittel is pretty good.
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