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Solid State Physics 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0030839931
ISBN-10: 0030839939
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Editorial Reviews


The Drude Theory of Metals. The Sommerfeld Theory of Metals. Failures of the Free Electron Model. Crystal Lattices. The Reciprocal Lattice. Determination of Crystal Structures by X-Ray Diffraction. Classification of Bravais Lattices and Crystal Structures. Electron levels in a Periodic Potential: General Properties. Electrons in a Weak Periodic Potential. The Tight-Binding Method. Other Methods for Calculating Band Structure. The Semiclassical Model of Electron Dynamics. The Semiclassical Theory of Conduction in Metals. Measuring the Fermi Surface. Band Structure of Selected Metals. Beyond the Relaxation. Time Approximation. Beyond the Independent Electron Approximation. Surface Effects. Classification of Solids. Cohesive Energy. Failures of the Static Lattice Model. Classical Theory of the Harmonic Crystal. Quantum Theory of the Harmonic Crystal. Measuring Phonon Dispersion Relations. Anharmonic Effects in Crystals. Phonons in Metals. Dielectric Properties of Insulators. Homogeneous Semiconductors. Inhomogeneous Semiconductors. Defects in Crystals. Diamagnetism and Paramagnetism. Electron Interactions and Magnetic Structure. Magnetic Ordering. Superconductivity. Appendices.

About the Author

Neil W. Ashcroft is a British solid-state physicist. Ashcroft completed his undergraduate studies at the University of New Zealand in 1958 and received his PhD in 1964 from the University of Cambridge for research investigating the Fermi surfaces of metals. Following his PhD, Ashcroft completed postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and at Cornell University, where he became a Professor in 1975. In 1990 he was named the Horace White Professor of Physics, and was elected to emeritus status in 2006. He served as the director for the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics at Cornell University (1979-1984), the director for the Cornell Center for Materials Research (1997-2000), and as the deputy director for the High Energy Synchrotron Source (1990-1997). Between 1986 and 1987, he served as the head of the Condensed Matter division of the American Physical Society. His textbook on solid-state physics, written with N. David Mermin, is a standard text in the field. Since 1997, he has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

N. David Mermin is Horace White Professor of Physics Emeritus at Cornell University. He has received the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society and the Klopsteg Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Mermin has written on quantum foundational issues for several decades, and is known for the clarity and wit of his scientific writings. Among his other books are Solid State Physics (with N. W. Ashcroft, Thomson Learning 1976), Boojums all the Way Through (Cambridge University Press 1990), and It's about Time: Understanding Einstein's Relativity (Princeton University Press 2005).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (January 2, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030839939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030839931
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Whenever you think about learning Solid State Physics, or the first stage of Condensed Matter Physics for college level, the Ashcroft/Mermin book is always the first textbook that you should chose. It covers almost everything basic carefully.
But a couple of things make the evaluation lower.
First, and obviously, the book is too old. It was published 18 years ago and never got any new edition. During this long long long time, Solid State Physics has already changed much. Semiconductors are already the most important topics and the discoveries of high Tc Superconductivity and Quantum Hall Effect in low dimensional systems have already largely switched people's interest in physics of Solid to a regime stressed on interactions and disorders... Many books start trying to put these topics together, but nothing better than seeing a new version of Ashcroft/Mermin with the new topics well integrated in.
The other one is about the presentation of this book. I just taught the class of Solid State Physics last year for the first time, and it turns out the presentation of the book is not so friendly to everyone. The chaptors of Nearly free electrons and Tight Binding model of the Band Theory are made fairly long, while not constructed in the best way, resulting in the puzzle of many students. Of course, if you study carefully, you still can get the ideas, but a lot of time is wasted. Considering the importance of these chaptors, this really pulls back the evaluation of the book. My suggestion is, when you study Solid State Physics, have more books as your reference, don't stick only on A/M when you feel troubled, although the A/M is still the best one in general.
I really hope the new edition of this book comes out soon, but considering the age of the authors, it may never happen.
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Format: Hardcover
Ashcroft and Mermin is an "amplified" version of basic solid state book! Must have!
This book offers an excellent, step-by-step introduction to crucial concepts of solid-state physics. I think, the authors have nicely avoided "reasoning surprises" that usually bother novice readers. To read this book smoothly, certainly you need "Physics 101" background; but other than that, the book seems to be self-contained. But don't be surprised if the problems are quite challenging (some are tough)!
The development of solid-state physics is presented in a more historical fashion--in opposition to rigid, systematic, definitive, and (sometimes) boring way that is commonly adopted by many other solid-state books.
In my opinion (hopefully wrong), this book has some shortcomings:
(1) detailed technical aspects, e.g. in XRD--you must refer to other technical books if you want to delve into them.
(2) links to interesting, research-related topics in modern solid state physics.
(3) new editions since the first release (how come?? Solid state physics has grown rapidly!).
These are probably due to the the introductory nature of this book. But it is good if there is a future revision, with point (2) above added in it, at least in the form of problems.
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Format: Hardcover
The Ashcroft text is superior to other Solid State texts because of its readbility. It is not over-written like some texts, and its presentation of fundamentals is appropriate for a graduate course in solid state physics. It is not fair to under-rate the book simply because it is "old". Despite having several decades to write a better book, few authors have.

There are advanced chapters toward the end of the book that lay the foundations for superconductivity and vibrations in solids, among other things. Like most physics books, the direct application of the physics to real world tools is an afterthought, as it took me 5 years of experience to finally realize that Ashcroft's treatment of phonons in later chapters could be used to describe the piezoelectric efficiency of acoustic sensors. Perhaps this is because the book is dated, or perhaps it is because many physics texts fail to make the link between consumer technologies and fundamental breakthroughs in understanding, as if it is beneath the moral integrity of physics to worry about the engineering that follows. The work in superconductivity is advanced for a typical solid state course and might be better for a special topics series, as it was when I was a graduate student.

Ashcroft will serve as a good primer for most solid state topics, and it is well augmented with Kittel. A lesser book by Ibach and Luth, while it has just a few positive qualities, will fail a student unless they have Ashcroft on hand. Between Ashcroft and Kittel, a student would have a strong reference library.

As a side note, while it seems to be par for the course for most solid state texts, little is done to address the findamentals of crystalline structure that have led to the growth and evolution of the field of materials science.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is the Landau series, the Cohen QM book, Feynman, Sakurai, and then there's the Mermin classic. People will tell you they like Kittel, but really they should read, use, and refer to Mermin. By far an amazing book. This is like the Oxford Classic, Dynamic Theory of Crystal Lattices by Born, likewise essential to anyone studying solid state. The exercise problems are so much fun too!
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