Lattice Vibrations and Heat Capacity


Einstein’s and Debye’s theories of the heat capacity of a solid are presented. The quantum particles (phonons) for the lattice vibrations are introduced.

Let us consider a crystal lattice at low temperatures. We may expect each atom forming the lattice to execute small oscillations around the equilibrium position. For illustration let us consider the one-dimensional lattice shown in Figure 2.1.


Heat Capacity Normal Mode Debye Temperature Lattice Vibration Lagrangian Density 
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  1. 1.
    A. Einstein, Ann. Physik 22, 186 (1907).ADSGoogle Scholar
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    P. Debye, Ann. Physik 39, 789 (1912).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    F.W. Sears and G.L. Salinger, Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics, 3rd ed. (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Research DivisionThe National Center for University Entrance ExaminationsTokyoJapan

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