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PHZ 5941

Condensed Matter I
Problem Set 8 Solution
8.1 Problem 12.1, A&M, Pg. 239.
For free electrons E(~k) = h
2~k 2 /2m, surfaces of constant energy are spheres, and the the
relevant area A is easily shown to be
A(E, kz ) = (kx2 + ky2 ) = (~k 2 kz2 ) =

2mE
2
2 kz .
h

(1)

It immediately follows that


h
2
m =
A(E, kz ) = m.
2 E

(2)

8.2 Problem 12.2, A&M, Pg. 239.


Near a band minimum at the point ~k = ~k0 the band dispersion has the form
E(k) = E0 +

h
2 ~ ~
(k k0 ) M1 (~k ~k0 )
2

(3)

where M1 is the inverse of the effective mass tensor. The surfaces of constant energy are
now ellipsoids, and orbits in a uniform magnetic field (which we will take to point in the z
direction) are ellipses.
To work out the area of the ellipse it is convenient to define the matrix M1
made up of
the upper left 2 2 block of the full matrix M1 ,

1
1
Mxx Mxy

M1
=

1
1
Myx
Myy

(4)

If we also define the vector ~q = ~k ~k0 and the two component vector ~q = (qx , qy ) the
equation describing the ellipse formed by the intersection of the surface E(~k) = E and a
plane of constant kz has the form
~q M1
q + 2~a ~q = C +
~

2E
h
2

(5)

1
where ~a = qz (M1
h2 qz2 M1
a and C are constant, i.e.
xz , Myz ) and C = 2E0 /
zz (note: both ~

independent of ~q , and, as we will see, their actual values are irrelevant to the final answer.)

The next step is to complete the square. This can be done by shifting ~q according to
~q ~q M ~a

(6)

which results in the equation


0
~q M1
q = C +

2E
h
2

(7)

where C 0 = C + ~a M ~a. (Note: C 0 is, of course, still just a constant).


Finally, if we rotate in the xy plane to the principal axes of M1
(lets label these axes
1
1 and 2, and denote the corresponding eigenvalues of M1
and M21 ), the equation
as M1

describing the ellipse is


q2
2E
q12
+ 2 = C0 + 2
M1 M 2
h

(8)

The area of this ellipse is then




A(E, kz ) = M1 M2 C 0 +

2E
h
2

(9)

Next (as discussed in class) note that the product of M11 and M21 is the determinant of
M1
which in turn is related to the zz component of the full matrix M by the following
relation
Mzz =

det M1

= det M1
det M.
det M1

(10)

(This follows from the usual expression for the inverse of a matrix). Thus we have
M1 M2 =

1
det M
1 =
Mzz
det M

(11)

and, putting everything together,


h
2
m =
A(E, kz ) =
2 E

det M
Mzz

(12)

(b) The low temperature specific heat of a Fermi gas has the form
2 2
cv = kB g(EF )T.
3

(13)

For free fermions with mass m and Fermi wave vector kF the density of states at the Fermi
level has the form
g(EF ) =
2

mkF
h
22

(14)

Thus, for a fixed number of particles (which determines kF ), the density of states is proportional to the mass m.
More generally, we can parameterize the linear term in the specific heat in terms of a
specific heat effective mass.
For the quadratic dispersion relevant to this problem, the density of states has the form
g(E) =

d3 k
(E E0 h
2 (~k ~k0 ) M1 (~k ~k0 )/2)
4 3

(15)

shifting the ~k integration


~k ~k ~k0

(16)

then yields
g(E) =

d3 k
(E E0 h
2~k M1 ~k/2)
3
4

(17)

Next, rotating to the principal axes of the matrix M1 (labelled 1,2, 3) and rescaling the
rotated components of ~k according to
k M1/2 k ;

= 1, 2, 3

(18)

yields
g(E) = (M1 M2 M3 )1/2

d3 k
(E E0 h
2~k ~k/2)
3
4

(19)

Here M1 , M2 and M3 are the eigenvalues of the matrix M. Thus M1 M2 M3 = det M. Up


to this rescaling factor, this integral is the same as the integral for the density of states for
free fermions with mass 1. The result is thus
1
g(E) = det M1/2 2 2
h

2(E E0 )
.
h
2

(20)

(of course g(E) = 0 for E < E0 .)


Comparing this with the density of states for free fermions we see that the only difference
is that the mass m has been replaced by the specific heat effective mass
m = (det M)1/3 .

(21)

It follows that g(EF ) = m kF /(


h2 2 ) where kF is the Fermi wave vector corresponding to
free fermions with the same number density as the actual system considered here.
3

8.3 Problem 12.3, A&M, Pg. 239.


(a) For the quadratic dispersion
E(~k) = E0 + h
2 (~k ~k0 ) M1 (~k ~k0 )/2

(22)

the semiclassical equation of motion for ~v implies that


~v =

1~
k E(~k) = h
M1 (~k ~k0 ).
h

(23)

Taking the time derivative and multiplying both sides of this equation by the matrix M
then yields

h
~k = M ~v .

(24)

The remaining semiclassical equation of motion then implies that

~
~ e ~v B
h
~k = M ~v = eE
c

(25)

In a uniform electric field this equation is then simply


~
M ~v = eE

(26)

This equation governs the dynamics of electrons in the absence of collisions. We can include
collisions in the relaxation time approximation by writing down the following equation


~
M ~v (t + dt) = M ~v (t) eEdt

dt
1

(27)

Here the right hand side is a product of the average value of M ~v (t + dt) in the absence
of collisions (i.e. that given by the semiclassical equations of motion) and the probability
that no collision occurred (1 dt/tau). (We can ignore the fraction of electrons (dt/tau)
which did experience collisions, since they will only have an average velocity of order dt and
so contribute a term of order dt2 ).
Dividing through by dt then yields the equation
~ M ~v
M ~v = eE

(28)

For the steady state solution ~v = 0 (remember that ~v here is the average velocity of all the
electrons contributing to the current). This then implies
~
eE

M ~v
~
= 0 ~v = e M1 E

(29)

Finally, expressing the current in terms of ~v we obtain


~
~j = ne~v = ne2 M1 E

(30)

~
~j = E;

(31)

Thus we can write


= ne2 M1 .

where the conductivity is now a tensor.


~ the semiclassical equations of motion (for the quadratic
(b) In a uniform magnetic field B
dispersion we are considering here) has the form
~v
~
M ~v = e B
c

(32)

Multiplying through by M1 yields the equation


e
~ =0
~v + M1 (~v B)
c

(33)

This equation is linear, so we can look for a solution of the form


~v (t) = ~v ()eit

(34)

Inserting this in the equation (and writing things out in component notation, with the usual
convention that repeated indices are summed) we have


e
iij + M1
kjl Bl vj () = 0
c ik


(35)

Writing the matrices out in all their glory we then have the equation,

1
1
1

1 0 0
Mxx Mxy Mxz 0 B 0

e
i 0 1 0 + M 1 M 1 M 1 B 0 0 ~
v () = 0

yx
yz
yy
c

1
1
1
0 0 0
Mzx
Mzy
Mzz
0 0 1

(36)

~ so that B
~ = B z).
(here we the z direction to be parallel to B
After multiplying out the matrices, the requirement for a nontrivial solution (i.e. that
the determinant of the matrix multiplying ~v () vanishes) is found to be

1
BMxy ic /e

det

1
BMyy

1
BMzy

1
BMxx
1
BMyx

ic /e

1
BMzx

0
0
0 ic /e

=0

(37)

This yields the equation


1
1
1
1
(BMxy
ic /e)(BMyx
ic /e) (BMxx
)(BMyy
)=0

(38)

for which the two roots are readily found to be


=

eB
m c

(39)

where

1
1
1
1
= det
Myx
Mxy
Myy
m 2 = Mxx

1
Mxx

1
Mxy

1
1
Myx
Myy

det M

.
=
Mzz

(40)

Thus we confirm the result that the cyclotron effective mass is given by
s

m =

8.4 Problem 12.7, A&M, Pg. 241.


(a) Unoccupied.
(b) Occupied.

det M
.
Mzz

(41)