Preface  pp. xv-xviii


By Efthimios Kaxiras

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This book is addressed to first-year graduate students in physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering. It discusses the atomic and electronic structure of solids. Traditional textbooks on solid state physics contain a large amount of useful information about the properties of solids, as well as extensive discussions of the relevant physics, but tend to be overwhelming as introductory texts. This book is an attempt to introduce the single-particle picture of solids in an accessible and self-contained manner. The theoretical derivations start at a basic level and go through the necessary steps for obtaining key results, while some details of the derivations are relegated to problems, with proper guiding hints. The exposition of the theory is accompanied by worked-out examples and additional problems at the end of chapters.

The book addresses mostly theoretical concepts and tools relevant to the physics of solids; there is no attempt to provide a thorough account of related experimental facts. This choice was made in order to keep the book within a limit that allows its contents to be covered in a reasonably short period (one or two semesters; see more detailed instructions below). There are many sources covering the experimental side of the field, which the student is strongly encouraged to explore if not already familiar with it. The suggestions for further reading at the end of chapters can serve as a starting point for exploring the experimental literature. There are also selected references to original research articles that laid the foundations of the topics discussed, as well as to more recent work, in the hope of exciting the student's interest for further exploration.