A basic knowledge of solid-state physics is necessary if intelligent application of its resultant devices is to be achieved. This paper surveys solid-state physics from the user's point of view. The approach is essentially nonmathematical and phenomenological. Analogues are used wherever possible.
The survey begins with a brief review of atomic theory. After a model of a single atom is established, combinations which introduce solid bonding, crystallinity, and energy-bond concepts are reviewed. Electrical conduction is reviewed and the differences between metals, insulators, and semiconductors discussed. The introduction of local defects (impurities) is then studied and the p-n junction established.