PHYS 474, Winter 2020

Instructor:Prof. Ian Affleck [Henn 406, iaffleck(at)phas(dot)ubc(dot)ca, phone: 604-822-2137]

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2-3 or make an appointment by email

Grader: Kyle Wamer, [Henn 414, kylewamer(at)phas(dot)ubc(dot)ca]

photo of Kyle Wamer

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 3-4

Text books:"Introduction to Solid State Physics" by Charles Kittel, "Solid State Physics" by Ashcroft and Mermin
Other useful book: "Condensed Matter Physics" by Michael Marder


biweekly assignments, 35%

participation grade for in-class worksheets, 5%

midterm exam, in class, Friday, Feb. 14, 20%

final exam, 40%

Course Outline (subject to change):

1. Crystal structures: Bravais lattice, primitive cell (Kittel Ch 1, A&M Ch 4)

2. Reciprocal lattice,   x-ray diffraction, Brillouin zone  (Kittel Ch 2, A&M Ch 5)

3. Free Electron metal and Fermi gas model  (Kittel Ch 6, A&M Ch 2 ) 

4. Electrons in a periodic potential:   nearly free electron model, energy gap, Bloch's theorem,  tight binding model, second quantization, crystal momentum, Fermi surfaces. (Kittel Ch 7, A&M Ch 8-10)

5. Lattice vibrations:   1D chains,  real crystals,  phonons and neutron scattering,  heat capacity. (Kittel Ch 4 +5, A&M Ch 22-24)

6. Semiconductors:  carrier concentrations in intrinsic semiconductors,   doped semiconductors,  (Kittel Ch 8, A&M Ch 28-29)

7. Special topics: superconductivity  (Kittel Ch 12, A&M Ch 34), topological materials, quantum magnetism and the AKLT model

Working out the assignments is one of the most important aspect of this course, absolutely essential for understanding the material. It is OK to work with other students on the assignments but you should write up your own answers and make sure you understand them. In order to receive credit, assignments must be handed in by the beginning of the lecture on the due date. If you foresee a serious conflict that might prevent you from completing an assignment by the due date please let me know ahead of time. I will consider extending the due date if the conflict affects several students in the class. Out of fairness to other students who complete the assignment on time, last minute requests for extensions will not be granted.

Lecture Notes

Jan. 6

Jan. 8

Jan. 10

Jan. 13

Jan. 17

Jan. 20

Jan. 22

Jan. 24

Jan. 27

Jan. 29

Jan. 31

Feb. 3

Feb. 4

Feb. 5

Feb. 7

Feb. 10

Feb. 12

Feb. 24

Feb. 26

Feb. 28

Mar. 2

Mar. 4

Mar. 6

Mar. 9

Mar. 11

Mar. 13

Mar. 16

Mar. 18

Mar. 20

Mar. 23

Mar. 25

Mar. 30

Apr. 1

Apr. 3

Apr. 6

Apr. 8


Jan. 6

Jan. 24

Feb. 5

Feb. 26

Mar. 11


Homework 1 with solutions

Homework 2 with solutions

Homework 3

Homework 3 solutions

Homework 4 with solutions

Homework 5 solutions

Homework 6 with solutions


practice midterm exam

practice midterm exam solutions

midterm exam

midterm exam solutions

practice final exam

practice final exam solutions

final exam

final exam solutions