Ultrasonic Attenuation in the Pre-melting Region


THE solid–liquid transition, a co-operative phenomenon, should be quantum mechanical in origin. There have been a number of phenomenological treatments but so far no quantitative microscopic description of the interactions responsible. Plausibly, the source of the transition may be sought in the lattice dynamics solution for the eigenvalues in the anharmonic solid near the melting point. In the pre-melting region, as the anharmonicity of the interatomic forces increases, phonon–phonon scattering will be enhanced. Experimental evidence for this is desirable. Ultrasonic waves, although much lower in frequency, have the same nature as lattice vibrations; the attenuation of an ultrasonic beam, directly measurable, provides detail of phonon interactions.

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SAUNDERS, G., PACE, N. & ALPER, T. Ultrasonic Attenuation in the Pre-melting Region. Nature 216, 1298–1299 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161298a0

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