The Chemistry of the Optical Constants of Solids

  • J. J. Hopfield
Conference paper


Most ideally, the theoretical solid state physicist would be able to calculate from first principles the linear and non-linear optical constants of practical use. In fact, there are very few calculations in all of solid state physics which can be done from first principles. Instead, there is normally an immense amount of feed-back between theory and experiment in which one evaluates from experiments the theoretical parameters whose meaning is simple but whose calculation is impossible. It is such quasi-first principles calculations which will be described. An alternative form of calculation is pure empiricism, in which one invents new constructs, and checks these constructs against experimental results to find out whether the constructs themselves are valid and useful or not. But the characteristic approach of physics begins at the beginning and goes as far as possible from first principles before using experimental numbers to conceal physical ignorance.


Optical Constant Ionic Crystal Antibonding Orbital Reciprocal Lattice Vector Antisymmetric Part 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Hopfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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