Introductory Matter Physics

Introductory Matter Physics

Francesco Simoni


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This book aims to introduce the reader to basic concepts concerning matter physics, describing how fundamental properties of atoms, molecules and condensed matter are affected by properties of electrons and by their interaction with electromagnetic waves.As an introductory text on basic properties of matter, the contents are designed for undergraduate students in electrical engineering. It is based on the lectures given by the author for over a decade on Matter Physics and Solid State Physics. It focuses on electronic properties to discuss the structure, electrical and optical properties of matter, and is organized into six chapters.The first chapter is a short review of the basic properties of electromagnetic waves, giving the basic concepts related to wave propagation to be handled easily to understand the subsequent topics. The next chapter on quantum mechanics helps to understand the quantum properties of matter using the simplest formalizations. Chapter 3 introduces the core of the book by using quantum mechanics to describe the electronic properties of the atom. Then, after atomic bonding, molecules and condensed matter are discussed before approaching the structural properties of crystal and soft matter. The following chapters (4 and 5) are then devoted to electrical properties and optical properties and address the main topics related to solid state and semiconductor physics as well as light-matter interaction. The final chapter 6, deals with the basic properties of lasers, due to the relevance of light sources in everyday life, and their widespread use in all branches of engineering.