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The quantum of acoustic or vibrational energy, considered as a quasiparticle and used especially in mathematical models to calculate thermal and vibrational properties of solids.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(General Physics) physics a quantum of vibrational energy in the acoustic vibrations of a crystal lattice
[C20: from phono- + -on]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfoʊ nɒn)

a quantum of sound or vibratory elastic energy, being the mechanical analogue of a photon.
[1932; < Greek phōn(ḗ) sound + -on1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Each cavity has a total energy which is now equal to the sum of the energy it contains in the photons it encloses and in the phonons which exists in its walls.
Among the topics are optical properties of nanostructured metamaterials, magnetic second-harmonic generation from interfaces and nanostructures, reflection anisotropy spectroscopy studies of thiolate/metal interfaces, the decisive role of interface phonons in polaron state formation in quantum nanostructures, and towards the ab initio calculation of the circular dichroism of peptides.
Inelastic light scattering from a crystal can be as an inelastic scattering of a photon from acoustic phonons. In terms of particle description, it is seen as a photon--phonon interaction, where energy and momentum are conserved.
"Traditionally, it is widely believed that the phonons that carry heat are scattered at van der Waals interfaces, which makes the ribbon bundles' thermal conductivity the same as that of each ribbon.
Among his topics are vector and Hilbert spaces, fundamentals of classical mechanics, solid-state structure and phonons, and statistical mechanics.
Since phonons and photons are both a type of particle called a boson, the translation from light to sound should be easy, Kittel argued.
Figure 4 is an SEM image of an EB-PVD coating showing fine structure, which promotes geometric scattering of phonons. Measurements on similar coatings show a three-level structure of porosity that can result in significant reduction of thermal conductivity from that of sintered polycrystalline material (2).
The scattered electrons lose energy by exciting surface vibrational modes such as surface phonons and adsorbate atom vibrations.
As the cavity filled up with photons, they leaked out, carrying with them phonons - mechanical units of energy - and thus lowering the total energy state of the drum to just a fifth of a single quantum of energy.
If phonons can be managed to transmit information as electrons and photons, thermal devices will also have more practical applications in phononic devices and the field of thermoelectric conversion.