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PHY543: (Condensed Matter Physics 2018-19-I)

Questions for Home Assignments

Q.01: Kinetic theory of gases Vs Drude model: (a) What is the number density of molecules in an ideal gas
at NTP? (b) Given the density of sodium as 0.97 gm/cc and atomic mass as 23 find the free electron density
and rs value in sodium. (c) Show that the mean-free time (in fs) for electrons in a metal can be written as
2.2  rs 
   with   as resistivity in -cm. (d) Using kinetic theory ideas, find a similar [as in (c)]
   a0 
expression for mean-free path at 300K.

Q.02: Prob. 1.1 of A & M.

In the Drudé model the probability of an electron suffering a collision in any infinitesimal interval dt is just
(a) Show that an electron picked at random at a given moment had no collision during the preceding t
seconds with probability e-t/. Show that it will have no collision during the next t seconds with the same
(b) Show that the probability that the time interval between two successive collisions of an electron falls in
the range between t and t+dt is (dt/)e-t/.
(c) Show as a consequence of (a) that at any moment the mean time back to last collision (or up to the next
collision) averaged over all electrons is .
(d) Show as consequence of (b) that the mean time between successive collisions of an electron is .
(e) Part (c) implies that at any moment the time T between the last and next collision averaged over all
electrons is 2. Explain why this is not inconsistent with the result in (d). (A thorough explanation should
include a derivation of the probability distribution of for T.) A failure to appreciate this subtlety led Drudé to
a conductivity only half of (1.6). He did not make the same mistake in the thermal conductivity, whence the
factor of two in his calculation of the Lorenz number (see p.23 of A&M).

Q.03: Prob. 1.2 of A & M.

Consider a metal at uniform temperature in a static uniform electric field E. An electron experiences a
collision, and then, after a time t, a second collision. In Drude model, energy is not conserved in collisions,
for the mean speed of an electron emerging from a collision does not depend on the energy that the electron
acquired from the field since the time of the preceding collisoon (assumption 4, page 6).
(a) Show that the average energy lost to the ions in the second of the two collisions separated by a time t is
(eEt)2/2m. (The average is over all directions in which the electron emerged from the first collision.))
(b) Show, using the result of Q.02(b) above, that the average energy loss to the ions per electron per collision
os (eE)2/m, and hence that the average loss per cubic centimeter per second is (ne2/m)E2 = E2. Deduce
that the power loss in a wire of length L and cross-section A is I2R, where I is the current flowing and R is
the resistance of the wire.

Q.04: Prob. 7.5 of M & M: Two charge carrier model:

Consider a system of two types of charge carriers in the Drude model. The two carriers have the same density
(n) and opposite charge (e and -e), and their masses and relaxation times are m1, m2 and 1, 2, respectively.
(a) Calculate the magnetoresistance,  = (H) - (0), where H is the magnetic field.
(b) Calculate the Hall coefficient.
(c) In an undoped semiconductor, n = n0exp(-/kBT) describes the temperature dependence of the carrier
concentration. What will be the temperature dependence of the magnetoresistance and the Hall coefficient?

Q.05: Prob. 7.6 of M & M: Thermal conductivity:

We perform a thermal conductivity measurement (i.e. we establish a “T temperature gradient, and we
measure the jq heat flow across the sample), but instead of the zero electrical current condition, we enforce
zero electric field across the sample. We calculate ' = -jq/“T from the measured heat flow.
(a) Calculate the difference -' in terms of the usual thermal conductivity (), conductivity () and
thermopower (S).
(b) How big is / at room temperature for a typical metal.

Q.06: In the Hall effect we solved for the electric field ( E x & E y ) in the presence of a current density
 
( j x & j y ) to find the resistivity tensor ( E   j ) in 2D. Find the conductivity tensor and discuss the large
magnetic field limits of the elements of this conductivity (  ) tensor.

Q.07: Prob. 1.5 of A & M on surface plasmons.

An electromagnetic wave that can propagate along the surface of a metal complicates the observation of
ordinary (bulk) plasmons. Let the metal be contained in the half space z > 0, z < 0 being vacuum. Assume
that the electric charge density r appearing in Maxwell's equations vanishes bothe inside and outside the
metal. (This does not preclude a surface charge density concentrated in the plane z = 0.) The surface plasmon
is a solution to Maxwell's equations of the form:
Ex = Aeiqxe-Kz, Ey = 0, Ez = Beiqxe-Kz, z > 0;
Ex = Ceiqxe-K'z, Ey = 0, Ez = Deiqxe-K'z, z < 0;
with q, K, K' real and K, K' positive.
(a) Assuming the usual boundary conditions (E|| continuous, (eE)^ continuous) and using the Drude result
(1.35) and (1.29) find three equations relating q K, K' as functions of w.
(b) Assuming that  >> 1, plot q2c2 as a function of 2.
(c) In the limit as qc >> , show that there is a solution at frequency  = p/√2. Show from an examination
of K and K' that the wave is confined to the surface. Describe its polarization. This wave is known a surface

Q.08: Consider ac conduction, as per Drude model, with frequency  in xy plane in presence of dc magnetic
field in z-direction. Thus one can write the conductivity tensor in 2D as above problem with four components
 xx ,  yy ,  xy ,  yx .
(a) Solve the time dependent eom (eq. 1.12 of A&M) in the limit   C and   1 /  for this case to find
the components of conductivity tensor.
(b) Use this to find the permittivity tensor as per the solutions of Maxwell's equations.
(c) Show that the dispersion relation for an em-wave propagating along z-direction in this conductor [with
limits as in (a)] is c 2 k 2   2   p2  C  p2 /  .
Thus at a given frequency there are two modes corresponding to circularly polarized waves. A linearly
polarized wave, thus, will go through a rotation of it plane of polarization in presence of B-field.

Q.09: From the given density of sodium as 0.97 gm/cc and atomic mass as 23 we found the rs value in
sodium. We also found an expression for .
(a) Find F (in eV), TF (in K), F (in Å), vF (in cm/s) for sodium as per free electron Sommerfeld theory.
(b) Given the resistivity of Na as 4.2 -cm at 273 K, find the mean free path at 273 K.
(c) Show that the expression for density of states, g(), for free electron gas as found using hard boundary
conditions works out to be the same as that found using periodic boundary conditions.

Q.10: Prob. 2.1 of A & M.

(a) What is the relation between n and kF in two dimensions?
(b) What is the relation between kF and rs in two dimensions?
(c) Prove that in two dimensions the free electron density of levels g(E) is a constant independent of E for E
> 0, and 0 for E < 0. What is the constant?
(d) Show that because g(E) is constant, every term in Sommerfeld expansion for n vanishes except the T = 0
term. Deduce that  = EF at any temperature.
(e) Deduce from (2.67) that when g(E) is as in (c), then kB
 + kBT ln[1+exp(-/kBT)] = EF.
(f) Estimate from above (i.e, 2.95) the amount by which  differs from EF. Comment on the numerical
significance of this "failure" of the Sommerfeld expansion, and on the mathematical reason for the "failure".

Q.11: Thermionic emission: The electrons in a metal are Vacuum Vacuum

confined by a surface barrier called work-function (). Thus in
the energy diagram shown the free electrons fill from certain 
energy (W below vacuum level) till EF in a metal at zero W
temperature leaving a barrier  between the highest energy Energy
electron and the free electron (in vacuum). At finite temperature EF
some electrons exist with energy higher than the vacuum level as
given by the F-D distribution. These electrons will strike the
metal walls at certain rate and some of these will escape giving rise to electron emission from metal surface
called thermionic emission. Assuming that every electron that strikes the metal surface (from inside) and has
energy (actually vx) higher than the minimum required value escapes without any reflection, show that the
number of electrons emitted per unit area from the metal surface is given by AT2exp[-/kBT] with A =

Q.12: 2.3 of A&M

The Fermi-Dirac distribution reduces to the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, provided that the Fermi
function (2.56) is much less than unity for every positive E, for in that case we must have
f ( E )  exp[ ( E   ) / k B T ] ...... (2.103)
The necessary and sufficient condition for this to hold for all positive E is
exp[   / k B T ]  1 ...... (2.104)
(a) Assuming that 2.104 holds show that
rs  exp[   / 3k B T ]31 / 3  1 / 6 ( 2mk B T ) 1 / 2 ...... (2.105)
In conjunction with (2.104) this requires that
rs  (2mk BT ) 1 / 2 ...... (2.106)
which can also be taken as the condition for validity of classical statistics. (c) What is the significance of the
length that rs must exceed? (c) Show that (2.106) leads to the numerical condition
1/ 2
rs  105 K 
   ...... (2.107)
a0  T 
(d) Show that the normalization constant m 3 / 4 3 3 appearing in Fermi-Dirac velocity distribution (2.2) can
 
also be written as 3  / 4 n(m / 2k B T ) 3 / 2 so that f B (0) / f (0)  (4 / 3  )(TF / T ) 3 / 2 .