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In chemistry and physics, a theoretical model describing the states of electrons in solid materials, which can have energy values only within certain specific ranges, called bands. Ranges of energy between two allowed bands are called forbidden bands. As electrons in an atom move from one energy level to another, so can electrons in a solid move from an energy level in one band to another in the same band or in another band. The band theory accounts for many of the electrical and thermal properties of solids and forms the basis of the technology of devices such as semiconductors, heating elements, and capacitors (seecapacitance).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on band theory, visit Britannica.com.
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