Syllabus:
Atomic, Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics, Phy491, Fall 2009
Credits: Total
Credits: 3
Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 3 Prerequisite: (PHY 471 and PHY
410) and completion of Tier I writing requirement Description: Manyelectron
atoms. Molecules, crystal structure, lattice dynamics. Band models of metals
and semiconductors. Transport properties.
INSTRUCTOR: Carlo Piermarocchi, room 4263 Biomedical & Physical Sciences,
Telephone: 8845631 Email: carlo@pa.msu.edu. Office
hours: Wednesday 10:30am12:30am. Call or email to schedule an appointment at
other times.
Text: Textbook: Ashcroft and Mermin, Solid State Physics (any edition). Additional
reading from review papers and books in the library will be recommended during
the lectures.
Course
Structure: 3
meetings per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 1:50pm to 2:40pm. Room 1308
BPS.
The
schedule of the lectures is here.
Topics:
PART I
(Atomic and Molecular Physics) Review of Hydrogen atom; Center of massrelative
motion separation for two body problem; Coulomb units; Excitons and other hydrogenic
systems; Variational approach; Relativistic Effects
in H; Many electron atoms and the Periodic Table; Hund’s
rules; Magnetic properties of atoms; Larmor
diamagnetism; Paramagnetism; Van Vleck
paramagnetism; BornOppenheimer approximation; H_{2}^{+}
molecule; Molecular orbitals; HundMulliken
and HeitlerLondon for H_{2}; Electronic
configuration of biatomic molecules.
PART II
(Solid State Physics): Crystal Lattices, BCC, FCC, Bravais
Lattices; Wigner Seitz unit cells; Hexagonal lattices; Lattices with basis;
Reciprocal Lattice; Brillouin Zone; XRay Scattering;
Ewald’s construction; Structure Factors;
Bloch’s theorem; Crystal Momentum; Band folding; Nearly free electrons;
Metals and insulators; Tight binding; Density of states; Classic Harmonic
Crystal; Quantum Harmonic Crystal; Einstein and Debye Models for specific Heat;
Transport properties; Semiconductors; Semiconductor Nanostructures; Classical
and Quantum Hall effect.
Homepage: http://www.pa.msu.edu/courses/current/PHY491/
Grading:
Individual
Homework: We
will give out individual homework problems during the semester. There will be
credit for the homework  problem sets will be available at least a week before
they are due. The worst 2 homework assignments will not count towards your
final grade.
Group
assignments: The course is organized in
the Problem Based Learning format. Students are required
to be engaged in group activities and take control of their learning process
during the class and in meetings outside the class. The groups are composed by
4 students and will be formed by the instructor. To find out your group see here. Group assignments will count towards your final
grade (group grade).
Midterm
Exams: There will be three
midterm exams, on Wed September 30^{th},
on Wed November 4^{th} and on Fri December 4^{th}. If you miss one of the
midterms and provide a valid excuse (a written note from a doctor, dean etc.)
the grade of that midterm will be equal to the average of the other two.
Final Project: The final project consists in an essay on one Atomic/Molecular/Condensed Matter Physics topic that has not been covered in detail in the class. You will have to find the material for your project through the library or the internet. The textbook can be a good starting point, and the instructor will be available as a resource. Verbatim quotations from online sources should be properly cited, as the essays may be scanned for online plagiarism. The list of possible topics is the following:
Essays must be
limited to 3 pages including figures (one inch margin, no less than 1.5 line
spacing, no less than 11pt font). Essays must be submitted to the instructor in
electronic format (.pdf or .doc) by Wed Dec 9^{th} at 5 pm and will be anonymously
posted online so you can learn about the other topics by reading the essays of
your peers.
Final Grades: Grades are based on the following formula:

% 
First Midterm 
20 
Second Midterm 
20 
Third Midterm 
20 
Group Work 
10 
Homework 
10 
Final Project 
20 
TOTAL 
100 
The guaranteed
scale may be lowered in your favor but not raised is:
Total point percentage 
Final
grade 
>93% 
4.0 
88%93% 
3.5 
83%88% 
3.0 
78%83% 
2.5 
73%78% 
2.0 
68%73% 
1.5 
60%68% 
1.0 
<50% 
0.0 