Mean-Square Amplitudes of Vibration at a Surface Academic Article uri icon


  • The ratios of the mean-square amplitudes of vibration at a surface to those in the bulk have been studied in detail for model crystals whose particles interact through a Lennard-Jones potential. Within a quasiharmonic approximation, the ratio for a particular surface and direction of vibration is approximately a universal function of TD, where T is the temperature and D the bulk Debye temperature. The ratio increases rapidly with T for T<12D and then is nearly constant. Three factors increase the ratio above the value it would have in a simple force-constant model: (i) a temperature-independent decrease in the force constants at the surface relative to those in the bulk, (ii) a further temperature-dependent decrease, and (iii) anharmonicity. These factors may account for the tendency of experimental values of this ratio to be larger than values calculated with force-constant models. 1969 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings

  • Physical Review

author list (cited authors)

  • ALLEN, R. E., & DE WETTE, F. W.

citation count

  • 71

complete list of authors


publication date

  • December 1969