Heat flow and lattice vibrations in glasses

David G. Cahill, R. O. Pohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that the first theory of lattice heat conduction, formulated by Einstein in 1911, fits the thermal conductivity of amorphous dielectrics above 50 K with no free parameters. We conclude that Einstein's model, based on localized oscillators coupled by harmonic forces that produce relaxation times of the order of the period of vibration, correctly describes the majority of vibrational modes of glasses in the THz regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-930
Number of pages4
JournalSolid State Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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