The periodic vibrations of the atoms, ions, or molecules in a crystal lattice about their mean positions. On heating, the amplitude of the vibrations increases until they are so energetic that the lattice breaks down. The temperature at which this happens is the melting point of the solid and the substance becomes a liquid. On cooling, the amplitude of the vibrations diminishes. At absolute zero a residual vibration persists, associated with the zero-point energy of the substance. The increase in the electrical resistance of a conductor is due to increased scattering of the free conduction electrons by the vibrating lattice particles.
Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.