Department of Physics & Astronomy

 Solid State Physics (Phys. 8510)

Computer Number: 94057                                               Fall 2020 


 Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 am ─ 12:15 pm in 272-NSC


Office Hours:      

Tuesday and Thursday: Let me know your preference either before class(9.00 ─ 10.00 am) or after the class (12.15 ─ 1.00 pm). If either of these slots is not working for you, please email me at with your appropriate time. The preferred time of the majority will be used as office hours throughout the semester. (You might want to forward your iCollege email to the GSU email account.)



Prof.  A. G. U. Perera
507 SA
(404) 413-6037


Quantum Mechanics (PHYS 8210, and 8220) and Advanced Electromagnetic Theory (Phys 8100, Phys 8110) or equivalent is required. Classical Mechanics (Phys 4600) or Advanced Classical Mechanics (Phys 8010) will be beneficial. 



Ashcroft and Mermin, Solid State Physics (detailed syllabus), Saunders College, HRW. 

ISBN-13: 978-0030839931 or ISBN-10: 0030839939

Note: We plan to cover most of the first 12 Chapters and some parts of Ch 18-20, 23-30 as time permits. The course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.


 Resource needed:

You will need access to the internet and a webcam/microphone. For Internet access and/ or other instrumentation, contact CETL at:


For technology help contact:


Supplemental Materials:

     C Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics, John Wiley, 1996. H. M. Rosenberg, The Solid State, Oxford Science Publications, 1992 and several other books will be on the reserve list at Pullen Library. Additional material will also be distributed via email and/or through i-College.


     Selected Previous Presentations (Note the modification to the requirement: Previous APS style is now further restricted to Applied Physics Letters. (3 printed pages in 2 column format.) Your article should be tested in the same APL format before submission. Please submit a readable word or a PDF printout in addition to the formatted version.) 

Previous Paper Examples:

1) Application of Infrared Spectroscopy in Solid State Physics problems.

2) Effect of Impurities on the Transport Properties of CVD Graphene Cooled with a Biased Gate Voltage. ( See Submodule “Previous Term Papers”).

 A Comment file is also attached listing the improvements suggested.


Course Description:

          Solid State Physics is the theoretical basis of Material Science. The course will allow one to analyze the microscopic material properties of a dense assembly of electrons obtained by placing individual atoms in various periodic patterns. The microscopic properties of such materials studied here coupled with fundamental physics principles and device principles will lead to most of the technology available today.

         The course will compare the material properties such as thermal, electrical, magnetic, mechanical properties of solids, and crystal structure; based on the atomic placements. Analyze the crystalline structure and relate to X-ray diffraction and the reciprocal lattice and binding energy. Understand the influence of lattice vibrations on thermal behavior. Apply nearly free electrons model with quantum mechanics to obtain, band structure, and relate to classification to categories such as Metals, Semiconductors and insulators. Further analyze the semiconductor types (homogenous and non-homogenous) and their different combinations in detail to obtain the requirements for various technology needs. Also, Analyze the deviations observed in the periodic patterns (defects and dislocations) and effect on the previously studied properties.

          Towards the end, the course will analyze how these material properties have led to the development of novel artificial materials which are fueling the recent exploration of novel technologies. The course will also covey ideas to develop skills in preparing a publishable scientific article and also to be able to give a technical presentation supported by accepted scientific facts to an educated audience indicating the validity and the accuracy of your work based on your own report.


Learning Outcomes:

·         Compare and contrast the properties of solids by applying classical and quantum mechanical models to different periodic atomic structure of solids. These properties include but not limited to thermal and electrical conductivity, crystal structure, Brillion Zone, Lattices planes and miller indices, X ray diffraction, energy bands, band structure, photon absorption and emission, and categorization of solids in to metals, semiconductors, and insulators and the effect on those properties due to the deviations from the periodic patterns. More details are provided in the individual modules under the methods of course delivery.

·         Use databases and search engines to identify discipline appropriate references and construct a bibliography for an article in order to correctly attribute previous work on the subject and/or justify your own claims/conclusions in the article.Use relevant information (ideas, models, data) and references to write a clear concise report with appropriate justifications for the conclusions and evaluate the importance of the work presented.


Course delivery:

Due to the prevailing uncertainty, the course delivery method can vary. However, the present plan is a mixture of online and in class meetings. You will receive i-college and email notices on any announcements. The course content will have several modules. After the Welcome Module, they will be labelled from Module 1 to 7. Each module will cover several chapters and will have submodules. The chapters and details covered in each module, the schedule, goals and learning outcomes are listed under each module.


Positive Study Habits:

·         Students who earn A’s and B’s, follow both oral and written instructions in the syllabus, go through the lecture materials multiple times to make sure they can apply the concepts and techniques discussed in the lectures to additional cases.

·         They would have worked out all the assigned quizzes by themselves. They may have discussed with others and carefully analyze the steps for solving a problem, but not copy material and submit as their own.

·         Also, they refer to multiple Solid-State books available in the library and additional material provided via iCollge.

·         They also start their research/review title page and the completed paper well in advance and submit before the deadline.



Assignments: ~10%. (2) Final Exam: ~50%. (3) Term Paper: Report (20%), presentation (15%) critique (05%). (~ indicates possible minor deviations.)

Grading Policy:

v  Three testing parts will contribute to the final grade. (i) Assignments, (ii) Final Exam and a (iii) Term paper.

v  Expected learning outcomes listed above will be tested both in assignments and in the Final Exam. Being able to solve the problems similar to the assignments and problems discuss in class (but not the same) should allow you to score well in the Final Exam. However, the problems in the final exam will be selected based on the limited time available to answer the questions. The solution to the problems should include steps leading to the final answer. The majority of the points will be assigned to the important steps. Even with a wrong final answer one can get the majority of points if the steps leading to the answer is correct. A basic (nonprogrammable) scientific calculator can be used. This will be a closed book closed notes exam. Required equations will be provided. A term paper (following APS manuscript style, specifically following Applied Physics Letters guidelines) on a subject (including your own specialty) is required. The title is selected by the student with the approval of the instructor. A table of content, including the title and the section headings should be handed over for approval/ modifications before the first Thursday in September. Other students in the class and the instructor will critique each of the student presentations based on the report.

v  Assignments: ~10%. The very first Quiz will be testing your knowledge on the syllabus and Roll Verification. Excluding the first quiz, the lowest 20% of the assignments will be discarded, giving the students the chance to obtain up to the full points for submitting 80% of the assignments.

v  Assignments will be graded randomly. The solution to the problems should include steps leading to the final answer. Points will be assigned to the important steps. Ungraded submission will receive full points.

v  Solutions will be provided (iCollege or via email) after the submission of the answers. The end of the Module reflection assignment or Quiz 1 is not counted towards the grades. Link to Assignments:

v  Passwords for the solutions will be provided after the due date.

v  The Final Exam a two and half hour in class test will be on the 8th (or 10th) of December 2020 from 10.45 A.M. to 1:15 PM in Room 272-NSC covering the chapters discussed in class.

v  The term paper should be handed in before 12:00 AM, on the last working Tuesday in November. A 25 min presentation (+5 min for questions) will be required for the class based on the submitted term paper. The grade for the Paper will be based on: Is the writing provides a clear description of the topic demonstrating your ability to summarize the important aspects of the work? Are the relevant references are used to credit the previous work and to justify the statements? The Quality of writing (Grammar, Spellings, Plagiarism.) Does the paper follows the guidelines for APL.

v  Grading for the presentation will include the clarity of the presentation (both the content and the clarity in the slides and your talk) and adhering to the timing.

v  Critique grading will be based on your ability (validity and confidence showing your background knowledge on the topic) to answer questions from the audience.

v  Proficiency in writing a scientific research article, (thesis, paper or a project report) which can pass scientific review process either to be published and/or the ability to convince a scientific audience that the ideas/results presented is scientifically correct and could have a positive impact on the field.


Roll Verification:

Quizzes will be used for Roll Verification purposes and information gathering.


The last day students may withdraw with either a "W" (Only for students performing at passing level) or a "WF" grade is October 13th , 2020. Withdrawl before that deadline to avoid getting a "WF" while performing at a passing level. This is automatic and the instructor or the department cannot change the grade.



Welcome Module: Overview, welcome, Introduction Aug 25.

Module 1: Chapters 1, 2 and 3: Aug 27, Sep 1, 3, 8.

Module 2: Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7: Sept 10, 15,17, 22, 24 Module 3: Chapters 8,9,10, 11, 12: Sept 29, Oct 1, 6, 8, 13, 15.

Module 4: Chapters 19, 20: Oct 20, 22, 27.

Module 5: Chapters 23, 24: Oct 29, Nov 3.

Module 6: Chapters 28,29,30: Nov 5, 10,12, 17.

Module 7: Artificial semiconductor: Nov 19, Dec 1-3 (access to material will be provided).


Thanksgiving break Nov 23-28. Online delivery will be asynchronous and the available dates and allowed time periods will be displayed in iCollege. In person classes will be Tuesdays and Thursday at 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM. The course schedule provides a general plan for the course delivery, deviations may necessary.



The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so via the Access and Accommodations Center (AACE) at Students may only be accommodated upon issuance of a signed Accommodation Plan by the AACE Center (see: and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought.


Academic Honesty:

In addition to the standard person to person exchange, sharing information/cheating (on to be graded assignments such as quizzes, exams) via group messaging apps such as GroupMe or Slack is a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy. Academic dishonesty is a serious violation of the trust upon which the success of our University depends. Cheating and plagiarism can not only result in a poor grade and penalties from the University, but it can cause your mentors and peers to mistrust you and could keep you from developing the habits to make you a successful student and a successful worker in your future career. Violations of the academic honesty policy that end up in your records appear on background checks if an employer contacts the university. The University’s policy on academic honesty is published in the Student Handbook, Policy.pdf, and includes dishonest actions such as cheating, plagiarism and facilitating academic dishonesty. Please be aware that violations of this policy will result in a grade of “F” for the assignment or the course. If you have any questions about the policy or are unsure if something, you’re about to do counts as academic dishonesty, please send me an email asking for a time to discuss the issue. The instructor may be using Turnitin, Grammarly available through iCollege to detect plagiarism. You can use Turnitin to view the originality score, which helps you to better understand plagiarism.



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Sexual Harassment:

In instances of sexual misconduct, the present instructor(s) and teaching assistants, are designated as Responsible Employees who are required to share with administrative officials all reports of sexual misconduct for university review. If you wish to disclose an incident of sexual misconduct confidentially, there are options on campus for you do so. For more information on this policy, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct Policy which is included in the Georgia State University Code of Conduct (


Previous Presentations 

          2009 Fall

          2011 Fall  

 Link to Assignments and solutions:

Dr. Perera's Homepage             Department of Physics Homepage