PROF, ASOC -
Prof. Paul Rulis
Electrons in solids are strongly influenced by their environment, which includes the nuclei of the surrounding atoms and all of the other electrons. The traditional elements of mechanics such as position, momentum, mass, etc. are valuable and physicists work to retain them when dealing with quantum mechanical solid state systems as much as possible to provide some degree of intuitive understanding. As an example of the merging of quantum and classical concepts, the mass of the electron is a well known constant, but the influence of the solid state potential can be incorporated into the "motion" of the electron as a modification to its mass, thus producing an effective mass. This effective mass can be computed in certain situations, but it would be desirable to extend this computation to other, more general cases. In this project the student will explore the feasibility of computing the electronic effective mass for more general use cases and if possible the student will develop a computer program to implement that calculation. The student should note that it will not be necessary to do everything from scratch. Considerable infrastructure and machinery exists to support the development.
The interested student should have completed the introductory physics sequence and be familiar with calculus. This project will require a reasonable degree of computer programming. Therefore, the student that wants to pursue this work should either be familiar with computer programming or be willing to learn.
Apr 19, 2016
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