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phonon

[ foh-non ]

noun

, Physics.
  1. a quantum of sound or vibratory elastic energy, being the analogue of a photon of electromagnetic energy.


phonon

/ ˈfəʊnɒn /

noun

  1. physics a quantum of vibrational energy in the acoustic vibrations of a crystal lattice


phonon

/ nŏn′ /

  1. The quantum of acoustic or vibrational energy. Phonons, like all quanta in quantum mechanics, have wavelike and particlelike properties. Phonons propagate through the vibrating material at the speed of sound in that material. Phonons are especially useful in mathematical models for calculating thermal and vibrational properties of solids.


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Word History and Origins

Origin of phonon1

First recorded in 1930–35; phon- + -on 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of phonon1

C20: from phono- + -on

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Example Sentences

Both materials have phonons that work in different directions.

It began with the concept that particles, phonons, were a description or consequence of things that you wouldn’t think of as particles but as vibrations.

In Fundamentals, you write about how, when you took a trip to Bell Labs in high school, you heard a scientist say that “phonons are the quanta of vibration,” and that that phrase just kind of reverberated for you.

Other kids had comic books and you had the world of vibrating phonons.

I didn’t even know what vibrations were, except in a very common sensical way, and I certainly didn’t know what phonons were.

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