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, insulators and semiconductors. It is underlined that 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.
Key features of this textbook are: - Modern treatment of condensed matter based on quantum mechanisms and research methods common to magnetism and superconductivity. - Explains metallic and insulating states via the independent-electron approach to electronic structure and band gaps. - Presents the most prominent physical phenomena associated with superconductivity. - Explains metallic, insulating states and the peculier case of graphene via the independent electron approach. - Emphasizes physical behavior and high-tech applications while deemphasizing mathematical derivations. - Learning reinforced by content-rich figures, chapter-end summaries, exercises and solutions. - Developed and class-tested in the eminent program of the Ecole Polytechnique.