Physics 80501 Course Information - Fall 2006


Name In charge of Phone e-mail Office Hours
Prof. B. Janko Lectures &
Phys. 80501 overall
1-8049 After class or by appt 
@ 333d NSH
Mr. Albert Shi-Hsin Lin Grader 1-4088 TBA
@ 339c NSH

Course Description: Physics 80501, Solid State Physics I

Prerequisites for PHYS 80501: Quantum Mechanics I, II, III, Statistical Physics, Methods of Theoretical Physics, or equivalent - or reckless enthusiasm.  

Topics (approximate):

NOTE: This course could be quite time intensive. Depending on your background, it could easily reach 3 hours of preparation  per lecture-hour, that is, 7-8 hours a week. Please plan accordingly.
Materials:  The main textbook for the course is

"Solid State Physics" by Neil W. Ashcroft and N. David Mermin 
(Brooks/Cole/ Thompson Learning, 1976)

We are going to use, as a companion for several topics as well as for homework assignments, the wonderful book and simulation package written by Bob Silsbee and Joerg Draeger:

 "Simulations for Solid State Physics: An interactive resource for students and teachers"
Robert H. Silsbee and Joerg Draeger (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

There are many other useful books that you may wish to consult during the semester. A brief list of additional textbooks, monographs is given below.

  • P.W. Anderson: Concepts in Solids
  • P.W. Anderson: Basic Notions of Condensed Matter Physics
  • A.A. Abrikosov: Fundamentals of Metals
  • C. Kittel: Introduction to Solid State Phyics
  • C. Kittel: Quantum Theory of Solids
  • L.D. Landau & E. M. Lifshitz: Statistical Physics Part II.
  • J. M. Ziman: Principles of the theory of solids

The web page for this course will be updated regularly with new information and resources. Please plan to check this regularly for announcements.

Lectures: The lectures are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 am - 13:45 am, in Room 123 NSH.

Homework problems and quizzes:  One homework set approximately every 7-10 days.  The solutions must be turned in on due date. There will be penalty for late homework solutions. No homework will be accepted after the solution set is handed out during class. Problems should be neatly written, in the order assigned, on 8.5 x 11 pages stapled together (no torn edges or paperclips). You MUST explain your steps, and lead the reader through your solution with sentences, phrases, etc., as if you would be writing a scientific paper. A pile of formulae on a piece of paper is NOT an acceptable style for the homework solutions. Occasionally, quizzes on previously covered material will be handed out at the beginning of the lecture. These quizzes are intended to help you focus on the key results we obtained, and provide you with bonus points (5 points max.) towards your current homework.

When preparing a homework please make sure you observe the rules (see below) for collaborative work compatible with the Honor Code of the University. Solutions are posted on the web page after the due date, and you are strongly encouraged to check your solutions against those posted.

Exams: The midterm is scheduled for Thursday, October 12th, and the final will be administered on (or around) Tuesday, December 12th, 2006.Exams are  open book and 'take-home': Only your lecture notes and the two textbooks (see above) can accompany you during your take-home exams. Honesty is expected and under the honor system the primary responsibility for regulation lies with the students (see below).
Grading scheme: Your final grade will be based on your overall performance in all the course related activities. The numerical grade is calculated at the end of the semester is calculated as a weighted average of your scores obtained during the following activities or exams:

Activity/Examination  Frequency/Date Weight (%)
Class Participation Lectures See below
Homework Weekly (approximate) 40
Midterm  Take-home, Thursday October 12th 30
Final Exam   Take-home, on/around Tuesday, December 12th
The letter grade scale will be based on the performance of the class as a whole. Please refer to the following table to get some idea of the correspondence between the letter grade and the expected level of performance in Physics 603.

Letter Grade
  • Has a firm understanding of all concepts covered in class,
  • Has a global understanding of the interconnected nature of laws and principles learned during the entire semester,
  • Can solve most problems, new or similar to those discussed in class and in homework.
  • Has a firm understanding of most concepts,
  • Recognizes some relationships between laws and principles learned in different chapters,
  • Can solve most problems that are similar to those discussed in class/homework, and some of the new problems,
  • Has a reasonable understanding of most concepts,
  • Recognizes some relationships between laws and principles learned in the same chapters,
  • Can solve only problems that are similar to those discussed in class/homework,
  • Has a limited understanding of some concepts,
  • Recognizes only a few relationships between laws and principles learned in the same chapters,
  • Can solve only the simplest problems,
  • Attends all lectures, makes genuine efforts to complete all homework problems
  • Little or no understanding of the concepts and phenomena,
  • Routinely misses lectures, and/or homework assignments.

Honor Code: As a precondition for your admission to the University of Notre Dame, you agreed to abide by the University's Academic Code of Honor. Specifically, you pledged not to receive or give unauthorized aid on a exam, quiz, lab report, or homework assignment. While collaboration is encouraged in class and during the discussion sessions, please make sure you observe the following rules:

Any suspected violation of the Honor Code will be turned over to the Departmental Honesty Committe for investigation. Penalties can be as severe as dismissal from the University.