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Meaning of normal coordinates and normal modes, in relation to phonons

  1. Feb 9, 2012 #1
    I am trying to find a succinct definition of normal coordinates and normal modes - relating to numerous coupled harmonic oscillators.

    What exactly do the normal coordinates describe about these coupled harmonic oscillators?

    I know that for normal modes, all parts of the system move with the same frequency. However I was told to find a definition relating the concept of normal modes explicitly to harmonic oscillators. (This is in relation to phonons - where a phonon is described as an excitation of a normal mode).

  2. jcsd
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