PHZ 7427 - Solid State 2 - Spring 2017

Course time: MWF 7th period (1:55pm-2:45pm)

Course location: NPB 1011

Instructor: Prof. Selman Hershfield, NPB 2138,

Web site:


This is the second course in the two course graduate series on Solid State Physics, whose goal is to provide the necessary background for students pursuing research in Condensed Matter Physics. The first course, Solid State 1, covers most of the traditional Solid State Physics in the text by Ashcroft and Mermin. It is expected that students taking this course will have completed Solid State 1.

In the first part of the course (before Spring Break) we will cover magnetism and superconductivity. These topics are covered some in Ashcroft and Mermin, but I will be supplementing it with material from other sources (see below). Since this course is to be accessible to both experimentalists and theorists, the emphasis is on describing the phenomena - not advanced calculations. Even if a student is not going to do research on superconductivity, there is background knowledge about superconductivity that every researcher in condensed matter physicist can be expected to have. The same is true for magnetism.

The field of condensed matter physics is sufficiently broad that one can not provide background to all areas actively under investigation. Thus, in the remainder of the semester (after Spring Break) we will selectively choose topics based on the interests of the students taking the course.

Reference material

The lectures for the first half of the course will be based on the follow books and notes. For the second half of the course we will be using journal articles that are available from the UF library. Lecture notes will be placed on the Canvas web site for the course.

  1. Solid State Physics by Neil Ashcroft and David Mermin
  2. Magnetism in Condensed Matter Physics by Stephen Blundell
  3. Lecture notes on Superconductivity by Peter Hirschfeld


Homework (50%)

There will be a homework assignment on average every other week. These will be more varied that the assignments last semester, which were largely traditional homework problems. Some of the homework assignments will involve reading published journal articles, and the final assignment will be to make a presentation on a journal article that you have read.

Exams (2 x 25%)

Following the format of last semester after the magnetism segment and after the superconductivity segment of the course, I will hand out a study guide. There will then be a one class period test based on the study guide. The questions will be qualitative or involve minimal calculation like the first day of the exams last semester.