Ruminations on emergent phenomena in condensed phases of matter
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Violating a text book rule
Solid state physics text books tell us that Matthiessen's rule is obeyed by simple metals: the temperature dependent resistivity is the sum of a temperature independent term due to elastic scattering off impurities and an impurity independent term which is temperature dependent due to inelastic scattering. I teach this to undergrads, but have struggled to actually find experimental data to show them.
Yesterday I came across a 1944 paper by Fairbank which contained the figure below for copper with tin impurities:
It looks pretty convincing. However, the text points out that the temperature dependence actually varies significantly with the impurity concentration, in violation of Matthiesens rule!
I have fun at work trying to use quantum many-body theory to understand electronic properties of complex materials.
I am married to the lovely Robin and have two adult children and a dog, Priya (in the photo). I also write an even more personal blog Soli Deo Gloria [thoughts on theology, science, and culture]
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