Neutron spectroscopic measurements of the magnetic excitations in PrO2 reveal (1) sharp peaks characteristic of transitions between levels of the 4f1 configuration of Pr4+ split by the cubic crystal field, and (2) broad bands of scattering centered near 30 and 160 meV. We present a simple model based on a vibronic Hamiltonian that accounts for these contrasting features of the data. The analysis shows that 90%±10% of the Pr ions have a localized 4f1 configuration and provides strong evidence for a dynamic Jahn-Teller effect in the Γ8 electronic ground state.
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