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A simple model of thermal conductivity, based on the harmonic theory of solids, is used to study the heat transfer in nanostructures. The thermal conductivity is obtained by summing the contribution of all the vibration modes of the system. All the vibrational properties (dispersion curves and relaxation time) that are used in the model are obtained using the data for bulk samples. The size effect is taken into account through the sampling of the Brillouin zone and the distance that a wave vector can travel between two boundaries in the structure. The model is used to predict the thermal conductivity of silicon nanowires and nanofilms, and demonstrates a good agreement with experimental results. Finally, using this model, the quality of the silicon interatomic potential, used for molecular-dynamics simulations of heat transfer, is evaluated.