What are Microclusters?
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Classification of the fragments obtained by successive division of material is given according to their sizes. The particles called fine particles consisting of 103–105 atoms exhibit properties different from those of the material before division at low temperatures. They have to receive a statistical treatment, as we are unable to pick up the fine particles of a given shape: they have uncontrollable surface irregularity. On the other hand, the particles called microclusters consisting of 10–103 atoms show quantum-mechanical properties depending upon their shape like atoms and molecules. The microclusters of given shape and size can, in principle, be extracted and their properties can be measured. It is also discussed that microclusters exhibit, at finite temperatures, physical properties often encountered in macroscopic systems like liquids. This is due to the presence of a large number of low-lying metastable states.
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