About this book
Solid-state physics has for many years been one of the largest and most active areas of research in physics, and the physics of metals and semiconductors has in turn been one of the largest and most active areas in solid-state physics. Despite this, it is an area in which new and quite unexpected phenomena - such as the quantum Hall effect - are still being discovered, and in which many things are not yet fully understood. It forms an essential part of any undergraduate physics course. A number of textbooks on solid-state physics have appeared over the years and, because the subject has now grown so large, the books too have usually been large. By aiming at a more limited range of topics, I have tried in this book to cover them within a reasonably small compass. But I have also tried to avoid the phrase 'It can be shown that. . . ', as far as possible, and instead to explain to the reader just why things are the way they are; and sometimes this takes a little longer. I hope that some readers at least will find this approach helpful. 1 The free-electron model 1. 1 THE CLASSICAL DRUDE THEORY The characteristic properties of metals and semiconductors are due to their conduction electrons: the electrons in the outermost atomic shells, which in the solid state are no longer bound to individual atoms, but are free to wander through the solid.
Potential atoms density dynamics electron electrons heat metals model physics semiconductor