Free-electron theory of metals
Harrison, Walter A. Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
- Equilibrium properties
- Transport theory
- Electron-lattice interactions
- Interactions among electrons
- Additional Readings
The treatment of a metal as containing a gas of electrons completely free to move within it. The theory was originally proposed in 1900 to describe and correlate the electrical and thermal properties of metals. Later, quantum mechanics became the basis for the theory of most of the general properties of simple metals such as sodium, with one free electron per atom, magnesium with two, and aluminum with three. Transition metals, such as iron, have partially filled electronic d states and are not treated by the free-electron model.
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