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A Phonon energy and atomic vibration energy

  1. Mar 20, 2017 #1
    When we say that a phonon vibration mode has an average energy <E> are we saying that all atoms (or harmonic oscillators) in a piece of matter (eg. a nanoparticle) will also has that energy, or that the piece of matter as a whole will have that energy ?
    In the second case the amplitude of the oscillations of the atoms will be lower the bigger the piece of matter, for a constant <E>, I guess.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2017 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The second option is correct and also your conclusion.
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