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Solid State Physics

Homework 1

Read: Chapters 1-3 of Ibach and Luth and try to play around with Solid State simulations and
read chapter 1-2 from the book that comes with the simulation.

1.1 (source: from Solid State physics course at Cornell taught by Dan Ralph)
The FCC lattice can be viewed as an ABCABC... stacking of hexagonal planes. This surely
implies that it should be possible to define a primitive cell such that the FCC lattice can be
viewed as hexagonal, with a basis consisting of three atoms. Do so, and give for a FCC lattice
with conventional cubic lattice constant a0
(a) the three primitive vectors for the hexagonal description.
(b) three vectors, describing the positions of the basis atoms within a primitive cell, that
go along with "ABC"
(c) the "c/a" ratio of the hexagonal unit cell.

1.2 Use the variation approach to calculate the ground state energy of particle in a box problem.
Use two trial wavefunctions – a Gaussian function and a semicircle function sitting in the center
of the well. Which one gives you a better estimate of energy?

1.3 (source: from Solid State physics course at Cornell taught by Dan Ralph)
An exercise in crystal geometry: Imagine that spherical "atoms" of unit diameter are arranged
in each of the structures listed on the next page so that nearest neighbors are touching. Let dn be
the distance of the nth nearest-neighbor shell surrounding a given crystal site (all distances
should be measured center-to-center from the given crystal site), and Nn be the number of nth
nearest neighbors. Complete the chart on the next page. Be careful with the HCP structure
because it is not a Bravais lattice. You do not need to explain your logic on this problem in the
same level of detail as for the others. Keep a copy of the chart because it will be useful on the
next problem set.

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simple cubic FCC ideal HCP
density (atoms per unit volume)

# of atoms per Bravais lattice


primitive cell

d1 1 1 1

N1

d2

N2

d3

N3

d4

N4
symmetry of reciprocal lattice
(reciprocal to the appropriate
primitive lattice --FCC, BCC, e.g.)

1.4
Problem 2.8 From Ibach and Luth.
Supposing the atoms to be rigid spheres, what fraction of space is filled by atoms in the
primitive cubic, fcc, hcp, bcc and diamond lattices.

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