What makes a crystal stiff enough for the Mössbauer

We show that the difficulties of interpreting the Moessbauer effect as a coherent lattice (phononic) phenomenon can be surmounted by relating it to a ”superradiant” behavior of the plasma of nuclei of a crystal. As a result a “generalized” Debye-Waller factor is seen to emerge for determining the intensity of the effect. Since its discovery in 1957 the Moessbauer effect has not ceased to capture the fancy of all those who have thought about it in any depth. As well known the presently accepted theoretical understanding goes back to Lamb and Dicke, and was worked out in great and effective detail in the few years following its discovery.

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