pho·​non | \ ˈfō-ˌnän How to pronounce phonon (audio) \

Definition of phonon

: a quantum of vibrational energy (as in a crystal)

Examples of phonon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In silicon, electrons have to emit a photon and a sound vibration (a phonon) at the same time to reach the valence band. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Silicon LED created by buzzing surface with high-speed electrons," 22 July 2019 Steinhauer reasoned that his analogue system should also emit the equivalent of Hawking radiation, complete with entangled phonons. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Sonic black holes produce “Hawking radiation,” may confirm famous theory," 30 May 2019 But the qubit is way too sensitive to tiny vibrations called phonons. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 But some physicists see advantages to replacing the microwave resonator with a mechanical one that rings with quantized vibrations, or phonons. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Weird vibrations poised to control quantum computers," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phonon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phonon

1932, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phonon

phon- + -on entry 2

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for phonon

The first known use of phonon was in 1932

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More from Merriam-Webster on phonon Encyclopedia article about phonon

Comments on phonon

What made you want to look up phonon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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