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Physics Department

Exam #4

Consider world, perhaps Abbot’s Flatland, where electromagnetic waves can only

propagate in two dimensions, call them x and y. The electric ﬁeld E must also be

in the plane, but the magnetic ﬁeld B is perpendicular to both the plane and the

wavevector k. The normal modes of the radiation ﬁeld in a square box of side L with

conducting walls are given by

kx ,ky = |E |ˆ

kx and ky are determined by the need

where ˆ1 is a unit vector in the direction of E,

to go to zero at the walls, and ω = c|k|.

for E

b) Find D(ω), the density of normal modes at frequency ω.

c) Find an expression for u(ω, T ), the temperature dependent energy density (per

unit area, per unit frequency interval) of thermal radiation in this world. Do

not include contributions from the zero point energy in the ﬁeld.

d) How is the Stefan-Boltzmann law changed in this world?

1

Problem 2 (35 points) Two-Dimensional Metal

?��IJ=�JA�AHCO

ε ?��J�KH

�O

�O

�N

�N

We have studied electrons moving in a box in which the potential energy was zero.

Alternatively one could consider electrons moving in a box containing a periodic

potential – a simple model for the conduction electrons in a metal with a crystalline

lattice. Under these conditions the single particle states can still be indexed by a

wavevector k; however, the energy of each state (k) need not be quadratic in k nor

even isotropic in space.

The ﬁgure at the left above shows an approximation to the dispersion relation, (k),

in a particular two-dimensional metal∗ . The energy has the form of an inverted square

pyramid. It has four fold rotational symmetry. Along the kx direction the energy is

given by (kx ) = γkx . The ﬁgure on the right shows a contour of constant energy on

the kx , ky plane.

square sample of side L, what are the allowed values of the wavevector k?

b) Find D(k), the density of allowed wavevectors as a function of k.

c) Find D(), the density of single particle states for the electrons as a function of

their energy . Make a carefully labeled sketch of your result.

d) The metal contains N conduction electrons. Find the Fermi energy F , the

energy of the last single particle state occupied at T = 0.

e) Find the total energy of the electrons at T = 0 in terms of N and F .

f) Without doing any calculations, indicate how the electronic heat capacity de-

pends on the temperature for temperatures T << F /kB .

g) What is the surface tension S/ (the negative of the spreading pressure) of the

electron gas at T = 0?

∗

Two dimensional planes of conduction electrons are not a ﬁction. They play an important role

in semiconductor electronics and in high temperature superconductivity.

2

Problem 3 (30 points) Paramagnetic Ions

ε�µ00 µ��−µ0

ε� µ��

ε�−µ00 µ��µ0

Certain impurity ions in a crystalline lattice interact with the neighboring atoms to

create 4 states, 2 of which remain degenerate when a magnetic ﬁeld H is applied

along the z direction. The three resulting energy levels are shown above, along with

their degeneracies, energies and magnetic moments.

a) Find the partition function for a single ion, Z1 (T, H). You may wish to simplify

the resulting expression using hyperbolic functions; see the information sheet

for the properties of the hyperbolic functions.

b) Find the total energy E(T, H) ≡ N < > of N non-interacting ions in thermal

equilibrium at temperature T .

c) Find the total magnetic moment (in the z direction) due to the N ions, M (T, H).

You can check your answers to b) and c) by determining if they have the expected

asymptotic behavior at low and high temperature.

Hydrostatic system −P dV

Dielectric material

EdP

Magnetic material HdM

Energy E dE = T dS + Xdx

Helmholtz free energy F = E − TS dF = −SdT + Xdx

Gibbs free energy G = E − T S − Xx dG = −SdT − xdX

Enthalpy H = E − Xx dH = T dS − xdX

tanh(u) = sinh(u)/ cosh(u) coth(u) = 1/ tanh(u)

d du d du

(sinh u) = (cosh u) (cosh u) = (sinh u)

dx dx dx dx

Limiting behavior of as u → 0 as u → ∞

sinh(u) u eu /2

cosh(u) 1 + u2 /2 eu /2

tanh(u) u 1

coth(u) 1/u + 13 u 1

(n) = (n + 12 )h̄ω n = 0, 1, 2, . . .

−(n+ 12 )h̄ω/kT

p(n) = e /Z(T )

− 12 ¯

Z(T ) = e hω/kT

(1 − e−¯hω/kT )−1

< (n) >= 12 hω

¯ + hω(e

¯ h̄ω/kT

− 1)−1

Radiation laws

Kirchoﬀ’s law: e(ω, T )/α(ω, T ) = 14 c u(ω, T ) for all materials where e(ω, T ) is the

emissive power and α(ω, T ) the absorptivity of the material and u(ω, T ) is the uni-

versal blackbody energy density function.

Stefan-Boltzmann law: e(T ) = σT 4 for a blackbody where e(T ) is the emissive power

integrated over all frequencies. (σ = 56.9 × 10−9 watt-m−2 K−4 )

4

MIT OpenCourseWare

http://ocw.mit.edu

Spring 2013

For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use, visit: http://ocw.mit.edu/terms.

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