Solid State Physics

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lecture 15: Continuity Equations

We derive the Einstein relations, which connect the conductivity with the diffusion coefficient. This is far more exciting than it sounds, because it's a consequence of the far-reaching fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Another instance of this theorem happens with Brownian motion, and the applet we used in class can be found at

We also derive the continuity equations in a semiconductor, and see how fast they can screen a stray charge that may be produced by, say, thermal fluctuations. We highlight 2 applications of semiconductors: LED's and solar cells.
We discuss a bit the impending energy challenge, referring to a
talk by Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley. Sadly, he has
passed away.

Lecture Audio

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