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Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials

Discover the physical principles behind diodes, light-emitting devices, and memories.

There is one session available:

11,989 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Nov 30
Estimated 15 weeks
11–13 hours per week
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About this course

Skip About this course

This course from MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering introduces the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, solid state physics, and electricity and magnetism. We use these principles to describe the origins of the electronic, optical, and magnetic properties of materials, and we discuss how these properties can be engineered to suit particular applications, including diodes, optical fibers, LEDs, and solar cells.

In this course, you will find out how the speed of sound is connected to the electronic band gap, what the difference is between a metal and a semiconductor, and how many magnetic domains fit in a nanoparticle. You will explore a wide range of topics in the domains of materials engineering, quantum mechanics, solid state physics that are essential for any engineer or scientist who wants to gain a fuller understanding of the principles underlying modern electronics.


edX Prize 2019 Finalist

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Differential and Integral Calculus University-level Electricity & Magnetism Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering, or a knowledge structure and bonding in solid state materials

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Discover the quantum mechanical origins of materials properties
  • Explain the origin of electronic bands in semiconductors
  • Learn the operating principles of solid state devices such as solar cells and LEDs
  • Understand the materials physics that underlies the optical and magnetic behavior of materials

Part 1: Lattice Vibrations

  • Hamiltonian Mechanics
  • Vibrations in Crystals–Phonons
  • Elastic Bandgap

Part 2: Quantum Mechanics

  • Schrödinger’s Equation
  • 1-Dimensional Problems
  • Measurements—The Ehrenfest Theorem
  • Three Dimensions—Hydrogen Atom

Part 3: Electronic Band Structures

  • Periodic Potential
  • Central Equation
  • Understanding Band Diagrams
  • Engineering conductivity in Semiconductors

Part 4: Solid-State Devices

  • PN Junctions
  • Solar Cells
  • LEDs

Part 5: Optical Properties

  • Wave Equation
  • E/M Waves at Interfaces
  • Photonic Crystals

Part 6: Introduction to Magnetism

  • Classification of Magnets
  • Hysteresis in Ferromagnetic Materials
  • Magnetic Domains

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

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