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Theoretical Solid State Physics

Why did you take this course?

“An idea of mine at the time was to pursue a Master’s project, and possibly a career, in realizing physical qubits for quantum computing and quantum communication. One of two popular ways of trying to implement these qubits is through Solid State Physics (the other being through optics), which is a reason why I took the course. I could also count this course towards my degree back in Sweden, replacing the first part of a similar course.”

“I like theoretical physics and I want to specialize in the materials direction, so than this course is a must. “

What were your expectations beforehand and did the course meet your expectations?
“I hoped to learn everything what I missed in the bachelor course ‘Introduction to Solid state physics’. Especially, a better theoretical explanation of phenomana which were explained sloppy in the bachelor course. The course met my expectatoins up to a certain level. The course was basically a repetition of basic solid state physics effects (Hall effect, Thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity etc.) , but now with a lot more theoretical depth. So, all material is covered extensively, this has as disadvantage that not the whole book can be covered, because there is simply not enough time. We didn’t cover phonons for example, something I did expect to learn more about. “

“I expected to be thrown into the middle of the Solid State Physics education of Applied Physics students at the UTwente; I feared that this course would build heavily on Introduction to Solid State Physics, and that I’d lack context for the topics we’d cover.

Thankfully, the course follows the development of the field in chronological order, starting with the Drude and Sommerfeld models to contextualize the rest of the course. There’s a clear red line and constant callbacks to these first chapters throughout the course, which I’m very thankful for.

Would you take the course again?
“I would take it again.”

“Yes definetly! ”

How much time (weekly) did it take to follow the course?
“20 hours a week. Every week we had to hand in a homework set, which took a lot of time. The homework sets are fun though if you manage to understand it. ”

“About 20 hours, but I’m not a good sample of a student following the course, as I hadn’t taken Introduction to Solid State Physics and only followed two courses at the time.”

Would you recommend the course?
“Yes! I advise anyone planning to follow the course to read the relevant chapters of Ashcroft & Mermin before the lectures, as Paul Kelly follows the book closely.”

“Yes, especially for people with more theoretical interest that learn by doing mathermatical exercises.”