Researchers observe localized phonon modes at a heterointerface

Phonons—the quasiparticle describing lattice vibrations in solids—directly dictates various properties of solid state systems, such as the thermal conductivity, electron mobility, structural stability and conventional ...

Ultrafast magnetism: Heating magnets, freezing time

Magnetic solids can be demagnetized quickly with a short laser pulse, and there are already so-called HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) memories on the market that function according to this principle. However, the ...

Graphene drum: A new phonon laser design

Professor Konstantin Arutyunov of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM HSE), together with Chinese researchers, has developed a graphene-based mechanical resonator, in which coherent emission ...

Phonon catalysis could lead to a new field

Batteries and fuel cells often rely on a process known as ion diffusion to function. In ion diffusion, ionized atoms move through solid materials, similar to the process of water being absorbed by rice when cooked. Just like ...

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In physics, a phonon is a collective excitation in a periodic, elastic arrangement of atoms or molecules in condensed matter, such as solids and some liquids. Often referred to as a quasiparticle, it represents an excited state in the quantum mechanical quantization of the modes of vibrations of elastic structures of interacting particles.

Phonons play a major role in many of the physical properties of solids, including a material's thermal and electrical conductivities. Hence the study of phonons is an important part of solid state physics.

A phonon is a quantum mechanical description of a special type of vibrational motion, in which a lattice uniformly oscillates at the same frequency. In classical mechanics this is known as the normal mode. The normal mode is important because any arbitrary lattice vibration can be considered as a superposition of these elementary vibrations (cf. Fourier analysis). While normal modes are wave-like phenomena in classical mechanics, they have particle-like properties in the wave–particle duality of quantum mechanics.

The name phonon comes from the Greek word φωνή (phonē), which translates as sound or voice because long-wavelength phonons give rise to sound.

The concept of phonons was introduced in 1932 by Russian physicist Igor Tamm.

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