The interaction of acoustic phonons and photons in the solid state

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by
Ian Douglas Winters
Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
University of Tennessee

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When light and sound simultaneously pass through a medium, the acoustic phonons of the sound wave scatter the photons of the light beam.

This scattering of light from acoustic modes is called Brillouin scattering.

More specifically, Brillouin light scattering is the nonlinear, inelastic scattering of an incident optical field by thermally or acoustically excited elastic waves.

The nonlinear nature of the scattering is caused by the nonlinearity of the medium, particularly that part of the linearity expression that is related to acoustic phonons.

This type of scattering occurs when an optical wave in solid or liquid nledium interacts with density variations and diffracts, or changes its path.

These density variations may be due to acoustic modes or temperature gradients.

The first significant study of the interaction of light and sound was carried out by Mandelstam in 1918; however, he did not publish his work until 1926.

Brillouin, after whom the effect is named, independently predicted light scattering from acoustic waves in 1922.
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2 comments to The interaction of acoustic phonons and photons in the solid state

  • Andrea Rossi

    Iggy Dalrymple:
    Correct.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    Dear Dr Rossi,
    I agree that it is a win-win deal for buyer to not have to invest and to buy cheaper heat.
    To justify your investment, you would need to obligate the buyer to purchase a minimum quantity of heat, correct?
    Iggy

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