am 2. Dezember 1999
Solid state physics is a rapidly developing area of physics with a great impact on modern life. There are many books about solid state physics around, but only few have been established as a standard book for lectures at universities. One of these is this book. It is used as a course book at many universities. This has many reasons. All the main topics of semiconductor physics are covered in depth. The book does not use too many formulas the reading and understanding is good. At the beginning of the book fundamental issues like different lattices are covered. After that the solids are classified in different groups like metals , semiconductors and superconductors. A large chapter is about phonons. Particularly the semiconductors are covered in a great detail. For all this reasons I would like to recommend this book to every student or scientist who is interested in modern solid state physics. (Dies ist eine Amazon.de an der Uni-Studentenrezension.)
am 14. April 1998
This used to be (maybe still is) *the* standard textbook for solid-state physics. You won't learn about solid-state electronics; for that go to Sze's books. On the other hand, for a solid overview of all of the physics you find in solid-state devices (plus explanation of many of the methods of characterization of materials), it is extremely good. The only reason I give it an 8 rather than a 10 is that it is a little out of date in respects to methods of characterization (which means the entire mess of STM/AFM/whatever is left out, for example.) Even so, it is *much* better than Kittel, which is the other standard book used.
am 24. November 1998
I apologize in advance for my partial Off-Topic, but I wanted to submit my opinion about the book of Ziman and the web link "Write an online review" for that page didn't work, so I decided to put it here.
We didn't really need the book of Ziman. Maybe it's style looks pleasant to some students of theoretical physics, but the only good thing as to the contents is the preface. The author writes "...a treatise expounds, a textbook explains" but he explains very little. "...nobody ever thought a student can make the whole physics enter into his mind", thanks God! "...he only needs to be able to find in the references what he really needs, and to understand the language of the subject and to know the main theoretical principles and experimental results", but this book contains little experimental physics (less than Ashcroft Mermin) and stops at the surface also in theory (for example the author only treats perfect crystals). "Physics is subsuming the universe by means of mathematics", he looks too abstract and far from reality, also in the symbology (always bra- and -ket). He goes on "The theories discussed are mathematical and the most important concept, i.e. the Fermi surface, is abstract". What about the applications, e.g. electronics of semiconductors and probe microscopy? Nothing. He says he always uses the simplest models capable to explain the phenomenons and provides a self sufficient treatment without jumping steps of "it can be shown that" as most authors do. A noble purpose but as a matter of fact his way isn't simpler then that of the others. He says he doesn't use tables and diagrams (which are one of the best tools for the physicist, see Kittel) neither do he face problems like defects, NMR, ferromagnetic domains, p n junctions or intermediate state of semiconductors, indeed it's half the Kittel and 2/3 the A. M. long but it deals with 1/4 and 1/2 of their subjects. "More, friends, life is short" and "science is made for men, not men for science", so don't loose time reading this book. In any case, 8 years after the first edition (i.e. in 71) he says "It has been necessary to add new sections, magnetic impurities, other defects, junctions, II type superconductivity and tunneling", better late than never, but the style is the same, too theoretical. After all that, I give him a 1/5, while 3/5 to Kittel and 4/5 to Ashcroft Mermin. So, if you like experiments, take the Kittel's book (Sze for electronics engineers), while if you like theory, take the A.-M.'s one.