Thursday, September 25, 2008

A mini book review

Recently I acquired a copy of Electrical Transport in Nanoscale Systems by Max Di Ventra, a new textbook aimed at graduate students. I haven't yet had time to read through it in detail, but what I've seen so far is impressive. The book provides a thorough intro to various formalisms appropriate for understanding nanoscale transport, including the usual stuff (Drude, Kubo, Landauer-Buttiker, nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF)) and other sophisticated approaches that focus on transport fundamentally as a nonequilibrium quantum statistical mechanics problem (dynamic density functional theory, a hydrodynamic approximation for the electron liquid, and a detailed look at the interactions between the electrons and the ions). I also appreciate the effort to point out that truly nanoscale systems really are more complicated and different than "ordinary" mesoscopic systems. The only significant omission (intentional, in large part to avoid doubling the size of the book) is a comparative lack of discussion of strong correlation effects (e.g. Kondo physics). (A good complementary book for those interested in the latter topic is that by Bruus and Flensberg.) It's not exactly light entertainment, but the writing is clear and pedagogical.

Update: By coincidence, Supriyo Datta just put up a nice long review of the NEGF approach. He also has a full book-length treatment written with a very pedagogical focus.

(For those curious about my own book efforts, it's slowly coming along. Slowly.)


Anonymous said...

Do you teach non-physics grad students (engineers, chemistry)? Is Di Ventra suitable for them too? Thanks.

Douglas Natelson said...

Yes, I teach non-physics grad students in my nano course (and I was an engineer as an undergrad). Di Ventra's book is very physicsy - it does assume a solid background in quantum mechanics.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your suggestion regarding the book on Electrical Transport in Nanoscale Systems. I tend to fully agree with you. It is a splendid book, very useful!

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Jackson said...

Thank you..