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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Introduction to the Physics of Matter

Basic atomic, molecular, and solid-state physics

ISBN 9783319143811
Publication Date January 2015
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Springer

This book offers an up-to-date, compact presentation of basic topics in the physics of matter, from atoms to molecules to solids, including elements of statistical mechanics. The adiabatic separation of the motion of electrons and nuclei in matter and its spectroscopic implications are outlined for molecules and recalled regularly in the study of the dynamics of gases and solids. Numerous experiments are described and more than 160 figures give a clear visual impression of the main concepts. Sufficient detail of mathematical derivations is provided to enable students to follow easily. 

The focus is on present-day understanding and especially on phenomena fitting various independent-particle models. The historical development of this understanding, and phenomena such as magnetism and superconductivity, where interparticle interactions and nonadiabatic effects play a crucial role, are mostly omitted. A final outlook section stimulates the curiosity of the reader to pursue the study of such advanced topics in graduate courses.

Nicola Manini is an Associate Professor in the Physics Department of the University of Milan, Italy. In 1995, he obtained a PhD in Condensed Matter Theory at SISSA – Trieste, and he has maintained regular collaboration with SISSA since then. He has worked at Yale University, USA, and also at ESRF Grenoble, France. His research has covered various topics in the theory and simulation of matter, including: the role of solitonic waves in atomic-scale friction, electronic and vibrational properties of metals, semiconductors, molecular materials, fullerene, geometric phases and the Jahn-Teller effect, and the collective dynamics of ultracold atomic gases.

Basic ingredients
Typical scales
One-electron atom/ions
Many-electron atoms
The adiabatic separation
Chemical and nonchemical bonding
Statistical physics
Equilibrium ensembles
Ideal systems
The microscopic structure of solids
Electrons in crystals.


“Book … meets perfectly well the scope of being an expert assistant guiding the student across what looks today an intricate jungle, pinpointing what is essential and general and what is less, and providing the basic notions for safely enlarging, or specializing, the study on many other excellent, though ponderous, textbooks … . recommend them as a very useful support to any basic course in atomic, molecular and condensed matter physics, whether for undergraduate students in physics or materials science.” (G. Benedek, Il Nuovo Saggiatore, en.sif.it, Vol. 31 (3-4), 2015)
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