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Introduction to Solid State Physics Hardcover – November 11, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0471415268 ISBN-10: 047141526X Edition: 8th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 8 edition (November 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047141526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471415268
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Kittel did his undergraduate work in physics at M.I.T and at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He worked in the solid state group at Bell Laboratories, along with Bardeen and Shockley, leaving to start the theoretical solid state physics group at Berkeley in 1951. His research has been largely in magnetism and in semiconductors. In magnetism he developed the theories of ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic resonance and the theory of single ferromagnetic domains, and extended the Bloch theory of magnons. In semiconductor physics he participated in the first cyclotron and plasma resonance experiments and extended the results to the theory of impurity states and to electron-hole drops.

He has been awarded three Guggenheim fellowships, the Oliver Buckley Prize for Solid State Physics, and, for contributions to teaching, the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers, He is a member of the National Academy of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Customer Reviews

Note to professors: Please don't waste our time with books like this!
Joe Grad student
This book is difficult to learn from - largely because there is a severe shortage of quality examples and the material is not well explained throughout.
M. Weimer
This is not a good introductory book, though it is quite useful as a reference material after you have some background in solid state physics.
C. Heikes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By M. Weimer on September 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, the negative reviews were correct. My solid state course has, unfortunately, decided to go with the Kittel 'standard' text, 8th edition. This book is difficult to learn from - largely because there is a severe shortage of quality examples and the material is not well explained throughout.

If you also are forced to use this text for a course, I would HIGHLY recommend purchasing supplement texts:

1. Solid State Theory, Walter A. Harrison (1979) - one of the best

2. Elementary Solid State Physics, M. Ali Omar (1999) - also good

3. Solid State Physics, Ashcroft/Mermin (1976/2003) - good
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Zrake on September 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A nightmare... The prose is both laconic and imprecise - a combination that spells very poor readability. The book assumes too much knowledge for an undergraduate text: in order not to get confused you'd have to be comfortable with QM including Dirac notation, Hamiltonian mechanics, results from e&m in matter, atomic physics, and a good deal of thermal and statistical physics. It's actually worse than that, because the book simply uses results or assumes familiarity with some technique without stating so much as "it is well-known from X..."

If this weren't bad enough, the main body of the text is cluttered with pedagogically useless references to charts and experimental data. This always disrupts the flow of logic and makes already inadequate explanations even harder to follow.

The problems are usually trivial once the light bulb is on and you've come to grips with the concepts involved. The problem here though is that, for above-mentioned reasons, it takes much, much longer to learn anything from this book than it should given the actual level of complexity of the material.

If this book is required for a course, then be sure you at least have a teacher whose lectures you can learn from. A bad teacher plus this book will ensure that you have one hell of a stressful semester.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Heikes on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book cannot be used to learn solid state physics. Kittel has a problem with leaving out large portions of derivations. It seems that with each successive edition he removes essential details in return for covering new science. There is also a problem with Kittel's use of terminology. He uses the term lattice to refer to bravais lattices. It is a small but confusing distinction. This is not a good introductory book, though it is quite useful as a reference material after you have some background in solid state physics.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D Funk on August 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
... until I cared about actually learning the topic instead of trying to pass a class and do homework. This text is pretty amazing, and on the level of Landau/Lifshitz's theory of 'every single sentence counts'. It's definitely not a book to pick up and skim to page 300 and pick up a single topic, you have to be in it for the long haul, it is best read straight through from the beginning. I was in the group of people frothing at the mouth over this book, but now I find it very accessible and prefer it to Ashcroft's text. The two books cover roughly the same material (I don't know why people are calling A&M's more advanced), but Kittel definitely has a style you need to get used to. 'Relentless' is a good word, actually. But if you learn to trust what Kittel is trying to do, you will end up in a good place at the end.(And rote memorization never hurt anyone.) He is trying to lay a rough foundation and preparation of things to come, a proper quantum treatment of condensed matter theory. There is a method to his madness, and all of the explanations and examples everyone is looking for are there, in the depths of the figures, context, and periodic tables he provides. Trust in Kittel, he may seem like a sadomasochist at first, but, as many are saying, there is a reason this is a standard text. Like many good texts, the more you hate it at first, the more you love it when you understand it after the fact. Have a good fight with this book. You'll thank Kittel if you continue on in physics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anthony on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Before I embark on my review of this book, I want to mention that I am not the kind of student who relies on the professors instruction when learning a new subject. I always take careful notes, and then pour over the book with sharp attention to detail. Having said that, I do not believe that this book is one in which crucial details regarding the subject can be obtained and synthesized. I believe Kittel, despite his long and distinguished career in solid state physics, has been rendered incapable of teaching the subject due to his extensive knowledge of the subject. He frequently makes statements that, although no doubt make perfect sense to him, leave the student perplexed. Moreover, he frequently relies on techniques that do not serve to illuminate the underlying physical concepts. An example of this is his chapter on band structure. In it, Kittel discusses the reduced zone scheme for calculating band structures, with the result that the student is left with not an inkling of an idea what it means, what it serves to illustrate, or how one could even replicate the procedure for a different case. Despite the fact that this model is not useful to my knowledge in actual solid state physics, key physical ideas are left out that illustrate how bands are actually formed in solids. This type of analysis, in which the student is left with a foggy and/or incomplete understanding of the concepts, is disturbingly common. If you are looking for a book that illustrates in clear terms the ideas of solid state physics appropriate for an undergraduate course in the subject, I recommend the wonderful (albeit outdated) book on solid state physics by Omar Ali.
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