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Advanced Solid State Physics, Second Edition by Philip Phillips

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1  Introduction

Solid state physics grew out of applications of quantum mechanics to the problem of electron conduction in solids. This seemingly simple problem defied solution because the presence of an ion at each lattice site seemed to present an obvious impediment to conduction. How the electrons avoid the ions was thus the basic question. Although the answer to this question is well known, it does serve to illuminate the very essence of solid state physics: there is organization in the many. Each electron adjusts its wavelength to take advantage of the periodicity of the lattice. In the absence of impurities, conduction is perfect. Hence, by understanding this simple fact that periodicity implies perfect conduction, it became clear that ...

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