Specific heat of a material is a measure of heat necessary to raise the temperature of a given amount of material, typically a gram or a mol, by 1 Kelvin.
Near absolute zero, this bulk thermodynamic quantity is a sensitive probe of the low energy excitations of a complex quantum system. Such low energy excitations contain useful information about the nature of the ground state. For the canonical example of an ordinary (so-called ‟Fermi liquid‟) metal, the electronic charge-carrying quasiparticles) component of specific heat vanishes linearly with temperature and the lattice vibration (phonon) component vanishes as T3. The two different power-laws ultimately arise from the different quantum statistics of electrons (fermions) and phonons (bosons).
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Riggs et al, Magnetic ordering of the RE lattice in REFeAsO: the odd case of Sm. A specific heat investigation in high magnetic field, Phys. Rev. B., 214404 (2009). Read online.
Last modified on 26 December 2022