quasiparticle

[kwey-zahy-pahr-ti-kuhl, kwey-sahy-, kwah-see, -zee-]
noun Physics.
an entity, as an exciton or phonon, that interacts with elementary particles, but does not exist as a free particle.

Origin:
1955–60; quasi- + particle

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To quasiparticle
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

quasiparticle

in physics, a disturbance, in a medium, that behaves as a particle and that may conveniently be regarded as one. A rudimentary analogy is that of a bubble in a glass of beer: the bubble is not really an independent object but a phenomenon, the displacement of a volume of beer by carbon dioxide gas, but, because of the characteristics of the surface of liquid in contact with the gas, the bubble retains a certain identity as it rises and floats. It, like a quasiparticle, carries properties characteristic of objects, such as size, shape, energy, and momentum. Two bubbles can bounce off each other; quasiparticles, too, undergo collisions. Some specific quasiparticles are the exciton, phonon, magnon, and polaron (qq.v.).

Learn more about quasiparticle with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
We use switching current measurements to investigate the causes of quasiparticle poisoning in the devices.
We have measured quasiparticle tunneling across a junction perpendicular to the superconducting copper oxide planes.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature