Goodkind, John M. Department of Physics, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California.
- Melting pressure of 3He and 4He
- Quantum statistics in solid phases
- Molecular quantum solids
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Solids in which the quantum-mechanical wave functions of individual atoms overlap the wave functions of neighboring atoms in the quantum ground state of the system. The spatial extension of the wave functions is called zero-point motion since the location of the atoms cannot be determined within the width of the wave function even at the absolute zero of temperature. The zero-point motion becomes large when the constituent atoms have small mass and the attractive force between them is small. The isotopes of helium have the weakest interaction of any atom or molecule (and the smallest mass except for the much more strongly interacting hydrogen molecules). The root-mean-square zero-point motion in those solids is approximately 25% of the mean distance between atoms. This zero-point motion results in some very unusual properties that are manifestations of the quantum statistical mechanics of many-particle systems. The properties of solid helium are currently an active subject of research with some fundamental questions remaining unanswered. See also: Helium; Intermolecular forces; Nonrelativistic quantum theory; Quantum mechanics; Quantum statistics
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information