WHAT is ANNEALING?
Slowly lowering the temperature, possibly with some reheating to reach the global minimal energy state - the groundstate.
What is temperature? movement of atoms/molecules with decreasing amplitude as the temperature is lowered.
Intuition can be gained by boxes of glass beads, see left.
Annealing , (a) to the groundstate from a slow ``cooling'', (b) a rapid cool or quench to an amorphous state and (c) a state with a vacancy defect. SEE ALSO HERE .
Images from J. Adler, ``A Walk in Phase Space: Solidification into Crystalline and Amorphous States'' (1999) Am. J. Physics, 67, 1145-8,