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phonon

Elementary excitation in the quantum mechanical treatment of vibrations in a crystal lattice. An energy bundle that behaves as a particle of energy h ν, with ν the vibration frequency and h the Planck constant.
Notes:
  1. A phonon can be considered as an acoustic mode of thermal vibration of a crystal lattice (or liquid helium II).
  2. Every harmonic vibration can be decomposed in phonons, which are the elementary vibrations. The total number of phonons in a system that has internal vibrations (e.g., a crystal) is related to the temperature of the system.
  3. The concept of phonons provides a simplification in the theories of thermal and electrical conduction in solids.
  4. For example, interactions between phonons and electrons are thought to be responsible for such phenomena as 'superconductivity'.
Source:
PAC, 2007, 79, 293 (Glossary of terms used in photochemistry, 3rd edition (IUPAC Recommendations 2006)) on page 382
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Cite as:
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.P04547.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/P04547.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
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