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Relationship between phonon and plasmon

  1. Sep 3, 2014 #1
    I am conducting an experiment on the parabolic trough that concentrates the solar light and heats up water. I am using different metal sheets (zinc, aluminium, copper, tin...) for the parabolic trough to see the differences in temperature change.

    I researched on a few things and I understand that it's the microwaves from the sun that's responsible for the water heating up. Then I came across with plasmon that is responsible for reflecting microwaves at the metal surface. Correct me if I'm wrong...

    And now, I was thinking, how about thermal conductivity? I found out about phonon; is there any relationship between phonon and plasmon? and ultimately, is there relationship between the thermal conductivity and the temperature change in the water (in my experiment)?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2014 #2


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    No. The power emitted by the sun in the microwave region is negligible as compared to the power in the optical and IR region. So you should care about the reflectivity of the metals in this frequency range. For most metals, reflectivity measurements as a function of frequency should be available, so you don't have to care about microscopic mechanisms. Much more important for maximizing reflectivity is the finishing of the surface.
  4. Sep 4, 2014 #3
    Thank you very much DrDu!

    I would like to clarify this thing out, since I am doing this as my Extended Essay actually; would reflectivity of metals as independent variable and the temperature change in water as dependent variable be alright, you think?

    I was hoping thermal conductivity has to do something with the temperature rise in water, so I'm kind of screwed right now :D
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