Introduction to the Physics of Electrons in Solids

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This textbook sets out to enable readers to understand fundamental aspects underlying quantum macroscopic phenomena in solids, primarily through the modern experimental techniques and results. The classic independent-electrons approach for describing the electronic structure in terms of energy bands helps explain the occurrence of metals and insulating states and to introduce their magnetic and semiconducting properties. Since superconductivity and magnetism can only be understood by taking into account the interactions between electrons, the text recounts the experimental observations that have revealed the main properties of the superconductors and were essential to track its physical origin. While fundamental concepts are underlined, those which are required to describe the high technology applications, present or future, are emphasized as well. Problem sets involve experimental approaches and tools which support a practical understanding of the materials and their behaviour.