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Understanding Solid State Physics [Hardcover]

Sharon Ann Holgate

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Book Description

16 Dec 2009 0750309725 978-0750309721

Enables students to easily grasp basic solid state physics principles

Keeping the mathematics to a minimum yet losing none of the required rigor, Understanding Solid State Physics clearly explains basic physics principles to provide a firm grounding in the subject. The author underscores the technological applications of the physics discussed and emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of scientific research.

After introducing students to solid state physics, the text examines the various ways in which atoms bond together to form crystalline and amorphous solids. It also describes the measurement of mechanical properties and the means by which the mechanical properties of solids can be altered or supplemented for particular applications. The author discusses how electromagnetic radiation interacts with the periodic array of atoms that make up a crystal and how solids react to heat on both atomic and macroscopic scales. She then focuses on conductors, insulators, semiconductors, and superconductors, including some basic semiconductor devices. The final chapter addresses the magnetic properties of solids as well as applications of magnets and magnetism.

This accessible textbook provides a useful introduction to solid state physics for undergraduates who feel daunted by a highly mathematical approach. By relating the theories and concepts to practical applications, it shows how physics is used in the real world.

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More About the Author

Sharon Ann Holgate is a freelance science writer and broadcaster based in the UK, who obtained both her Bachelor's degree and doctorate in physics from the University of Sussex. She has presented on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, and appeared on a variety of radio and TV shows including a 'Boffins Special' of The Weakest Link. As an author, Sharon Ann co-wrote (with Robin Kerrod) the children's popular science book 'The Way Science Works', which was short-listed for the Junior Prize in the Aventis(now Royal Society)Prizes for Science Books. Her second book, the undergraduate textbook 'Understanding Solid State Physics', was published by Taylor and Francis in December 2009 and is currently being used as a core text in several universities. She was also a contributor to the popular science book '30-Second Quantum Theory', which was published by Icon Books in 2014, and was edited by Brian Clegg. Her numerous articles have appeared in publications including New Scientist, The Times Higher Education Supplement, Science Careers, Flipside, Focus, E&T, Physics World, Interactions, Astronomy Now and Modern Astronomer. She has also developed and written brochures, press releases, case studies and careers material for various scientific institutions in the UK. In 2006, Sharon Ann won the Institute of Physics Young Professional Physicist of the Year award for her work promoting physics to the public.

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Where Sharon Ann Holgate has succeeded in this book is in packing it with examples of the application of solid state physics to technology. … All the basic elements of solid state physics are covered … . The range of materials is good, including as it does polymers and glasses as well as crystalline solids. In general, the style makes for easy reading. … Overall this book succeeds in showing the relevance of solid state physics to the modern world … .
Contemporary Physics, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2011

I was indeed amused and inspired by the wonderful images throughout the book, carefully selected by the author. These images and corresponding contexts, together with the thoughtful considerations of the difficulties of the freshmen to solid state physics, who may find it hard to follow the maths in the classics like Kittel’s or Mermin’s, fulfills very well the goal of the author … this book is fun, at least for me! Why not have a copy together with Kittel’s and Mermin’s for the visiting undergraduate or even postgraduate students who are becoming frustrated with classics.
—Yang Gan, Reviews, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2010

I enjoyed reading the book and it is a refreshing approach — it is very up to date and pitched at a good level to engage undergraduates new to the subject. I am happy to recommend this book to my students.
—Dr. Robert H. Hadfield, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland

The book is written in a very user-friendly and engaging style, as one might expect from a science writer/journalist. This way, the author succeeds in making the material approachable and interesting. The presentation is not as formal as most treatments. The emphasis is less on the theoretical and mathematical basis of the subject and more on the intuitive understanding of ideas and concepts, but the approach is fresh and the explanations are clear. What I like most of all is that it brings solid-state physics up-to-date, introducing modern topics and showing how the core ideas in condensed matter physics underpin so much of the technology we use today.
—Professor Andrew Boothroyd, Oxford University, UK

About the Author

Sharon Ann Holgate is a freelance science writer and broadcaster. She has presented on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, presented video podcasts for medical research charity the Myrovlytis Trust, and competed in a "Boffins Special" on The Weakest Link. She earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Sussex, where she was a Visiting Fellow in Physics and Astronomy for nine years. Her articles have appeared in New Scientist, The Times Higher Education Supplement, Science Careers, Flipside, E&T, Focus, Physics World, Interactions, Modern Astronomer, and Astronomy Now. Her first book The Way Science Works (co-authored with Robin Kerrod) was shortlisted for the Royal Society Junior Books Prize. She was also shortlisted for the broadcasting category of the Association of British Science Writers' Awards in 2005. Dr. Holgate has been a recipient of the Institute of Physics Young Professional Physicist of the Year and the Merit Award of the Daily Telegraph Young Science Writer of the Year competition. Further information can be found at www.sharonannholgate.com.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait! 22 Dec 2009
By Talisker - Published on Amazon.com
This book has been underway for a while, in an earlier position I worked with the author developing her ideas about how to present the material in this book. I must quickly say I have no link with the publishers now and so have no reason to 'big' up the book. Sharon Ann has put much of the last 6 years of her time into this excellent book and it really has been worth the wait. The language is clear and engaging and I think the book sets a new standard for texts in this area. If you are taking your first course in solid state physics you will not find a better book to help you.
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