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I Light in a medium: do phonons store light energy?

  1. Aug 6, 2017 #1
    When light travels through a transparent medium and is absorbed then re-emitted, do the phonons just move to a higher energy state after absorption? Is it the same as absorption and re-emission of light by electrons, aside from having a continuous range of available energies?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2017 #2


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    That process would introduce an unknown delay between absorption and emission with each photon interaction. That would not sustain a coherent transmission through the medium. Drastic scattering would result from the spread in phases of each re-emitted wave.
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