Magic number (chemistry)
In case a gas condenses into clusters of atoms, the number of atoms in these clusters varies between a few and hundreds. However, there are peaks at specific sizes, usually one at lower and one at larger numbers. Often, specific numbers dominate. These numbers are called magic numbers, a term borrowed from the same concept in nuclear physics.
In this context, magic numbers often represent three-dimensional figurate numbers such as the octahedral numbers: they count the numbers of spheres in sphere packings of Platonic solids and related polyhedra.
- Teo, Boon K.; Sloane, N. J. A. (1985), "Magic numbers in polygonal and polyhedral clusters", Inorganic Chemistry 24 (26): 4545–4558, doi:10.1021/ic00220a025.
- Feldheim, Daniel L.; Foss, Colby A. (2002), Metal nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, and applications, CRC Press, p. 76, ISBN 978-0-8247-0604-3.
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