phonon

noun
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 When a group of atomic nuclei vibrate, their collective excitation is instead called a phonon. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, 9 June 2020 So to achieve superconductivity, electrons need to easily generate and absorb phonons. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 6 Sep. 2019 Until recently, scientists lacked this ability; just detecting an individual phonon destroyed it. Leila Sloman, Scientific American, 30 Aug. 2019 Another major source of phonons, collisions with air molecules, was reduced by pulling a vacuum. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 31 Jan. 2020 The bead can hold units of vibrational energy called phonons, which behave somewhat analogously to photons. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 31 Jan. 2020 Here on Earth, heat flow is often more intimate, taking place via direct contact between materials and helped along by the wavelike collective vibrations of atoms known as phonons. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, 11 Dec. 2019 Early methods involved converting phonons to electricity in quantum circuits called superconducting qubits. Leila Sloman, Scientific American, 30 Aug. 2019 These phonons create feedback in the form of tiny acoustic waves, which in turn interrupt the original light waves. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 20 Aug. 2019

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

borrowed from Russian fonon, from Greek phōnḗ "sound made by something living, voice" + Russian -on -on entry 2 — more at -on entry 2 — more at phono-

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Dictionary Entries Near phonon

phonomotor

phonon

phonopathy

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Cite this Entry

“Phonon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phonon. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on phonon

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phonon

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