Understanding phonons

  • #1
DaveC426913
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I'm making my way through 'The Trouble with Physics' and am getting my head around phonons.

It sounds to me like
- phonons are a sort of virtual particle that results from emergent properties of the underlying forces
- (IMHO) photons-as-particles could be considered phonons resulting from the underlying electromagnetic wave (thus the dual nature of light)
- (IMHO) the current flow in a wire in the positive direction (i.e. opposite the movement of electrons) is actually a moving "electron hole", and this moving positive charge can be considered as a (positively-charged) phonon particle.

Am I barking mad?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
daniel_i_l
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I always thought that phonons where just a quantumized form of vibrations in matter. In other words, packets of vibrations, just like photons can be thought of as packets of EM waves.
 
  • #3
DaveC426913
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Ah. OK, so it's limited to sound-like propogation. That does gel with what the book was saying, I was over-enthusiastic.
 
  • #4
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More precisely: sound-like propagation is only a particular kind. Phonons are linkened to vibrations but these can be acustical or optical. You find difference in a bi-atomic chain in which vibrations take place in-phase or out of phase. Modes can be longitudinal or transverse. Phonons are optical with an interaction with em field occurs.
 

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