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Should I take solid state physics?

  1. Aug 19, 2014 #1

    ZetaOfThree

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    I am an undergrad and for the most part I am looking for a good physics class to take. I am considering taking solid state physics at the level of Kittel as its one of the only physics classes offered at the undergrad level this semester that I haven't taken. I haven't taken quantum mechanics yet (it's not offered this semester), but I have a decent grasp of it from self-study. I mention this because quantum is a prereq. What things from quantum should I be solid with for studying solid state physics? Also, do you think solid state is interesting? I'm not really taking this class for research interests or anything, just to further my general knowledge of physics. I plan to talk to the professor about all this, but I am still curious of your opinions. What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2014 #2

    analogdesign

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    Solid-State Physics (and the Kittel text) are incredibly interesting. One of my favorite classes. Even though solid-state physics is built on a foundation of QM, most of the math you use to solve problems is statistical mechanics and the rest is typically developed in the course. When I took it QM was used to develop the idea of quantum states in a periodic lattice, but after that explicit QM wasn't used much.

    My guess is you'll do fine if you're at least familiar with QM, but yeah, ask the professor.
     
  4. Aug 20, 2014 #3
    Solid State Physics is very worth it. It was my favorite class next to statistical mechanics; it is a class which is not about math and number crunching, but more about learning how to think about solids, much like statistical mechanics is a class about learning how to think about large systems. You learn something new every time.

    You need to know how to solve for a particle in a 1-D well and know what the Schrodinger equation is though.
     
  5. Aug 21, 2014 #4

    ZetaOfThree

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    Thanks very much for the replies! I decided to enroll in the course but it doesn't start for a few days. What things from QM, stat mech, etc do you think it would be useful to review before the course starts?
     
  6. Aug 21, 2014 #5

    analogdesign

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    Particle in a box. That is usually how they start in solid-state.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2014 #6
    1. Fermi-Dirac distribution
    2. Know what the Schrodinger equation is
    3. Know how to solve it for a particle in a 1-D well.
     
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