The debye is still used in atomic physics and chemistry. The dipole moments of atoms and molecules are typically on the order of the "atomic unit of electric dipole moment" (Bohr radius times elementary charge), which is about 2.54 D for which the SI units are inconveniently large unless prefixes are added to both units (e.g., 2.54 D = 8.47 fC·fm). Atomic physics (or atom physics) is physics of the electron hull of atoms. ... Chemistry (in Greek: ÏÎ·Î¼ÎµÎ¯Î±) is the science of matter that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo. ... A dipole (Greek: dyo = two and polos = pivot) is a pair of electric charges or magnetic poles of equal magnitude but opposite polarity (opposite electronic charges), separated by some (usually small) distance. ... In the Bohr model of the structure of an atom, put forward by Niels Bohr in 1913, electrons orbit a central nucleus. ... The elementary charge (symbol e or sometimes q) is the electric charge carried by a single proton, or equivalently, the negative of the electric charge carried by a single electron. ...
"atomic unit of electric dipole moment:  ". NIST
" cgs units:  ". R. Rowlett (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Peter "Pie" Debye was born in Maastricht and after attending local schools in Maastricht went to the University of Aachen, Germany, only 30 km from Maastricht, in 1901.
In 1936, Debye was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (entry at nobelprize.org) "for his contributions to the study of molecular structure," primarily referring to his work on dipole moments and X-ray diffraction.
Debye relaxation - The dielectric relaxation response of an ideal, noninteracting population of dipoles to an alternating external electric field.
The Debye model treats the vibrations of the atomic lattice (heat) as phonons in a box, in contrast to Einstein model, which treats the solid as many individual, non-interacting quantum harmonic oscillators.
The Debye model is a solid-state equivalent of Planck's law of fl body radiation, where one treats electromagnetic radiation as a gas of photons in a box.
Debye knew that this assumption was not really correct (the higher frequencies are more closely spaced than assumed), but it guarantees the proper behavior at high temperature (the Dulong-Petit law).
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