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Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Physics of Materials

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam


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Materials display properties. What is the physics behind these properties? Starting from an electronic or atomic level, how can we arrive at the properties of the materials? These are the questions this course will attempt to answer. Focus will be on electronic properties, but other properties will also be looked at.INTENDED AUDIENCE : Any interested LearnersPRE-REQUISITES : First Year under graduate level of physics and mathematics will be beneficial but is not absolutely necessary.


Properties of materials, thermal expansion, DC and AC techniques to measure electronic conductivity, free electron gas, Drude model for electronic conductivity and for thermal conductivity; Successes and Limitations of the Drude model – The Wiedemann Franz Law; Statistical Mechanics, Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics; history of quantum mechanics; Drude Sommerfeld model, Fermi-Dirac Statistics; Confinement and quantization; calculating density of available states for electrons; Fermi Energy, Fermi Surface, Fermi Temperature; Reciprocal space ; Wigner seitz cells Brillouin zones; Calculating allowed and forbidden energy levels; Description of tight binding approximation, impact of inter atomic spacing on band gaps. Comparison of free electron approximation and tight binding approximation. Effect of pressure on band gaps; Direct Band gap, indirect Band gap semiconductors; Magnetic properties; Electron compounds/Hume Rothery phases. Phonons, Optoelectronic properties; Superconductivity, Bose-Einstein Statistics; Physics of nano scale materials.

Taught by

Prathap Haridoss



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