Klemens, Paul G. Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Lattice waves
- Zone structure
- Localized vibrations
- Quantization and phonons
- Neutron diffraction
- Heat transport and wave interactions
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The oscillation of an atom in a solid about an equilibrium position. In a crystal, these equilibrium positions form a regular lattice. Because the atoms are bound not to their average positions but to the neighboring atoms, vibrations of neighbors are not independent of each other. In a regular lattice with harmonic forces between atoms, the normal modes of vibrations are lattice waves. These are progressive waves, and at low frequencies they are the elastic waves in the corresponding anisotropic continuum. The spectrum of lattice waves ranges from these low frequencies to frequencies of the order of 1013 Hz, and sometimes even higher. The wavelengths at these highest frequencies are of the order of interatomic spacings. See also: Crystal structure; Vibration; Wave motion
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