Posted by Steve Simon on February 5, 2013, 3:39 pm, in reply to "Phonons as bosons"
First think about a simple harmonic oscillator. If it is in the ground state (n=0), we say there are zero phonons present. If it is in the first excited state (n=1) we say there is one phonon present. If it is in the (n=2) state, we say there are two phonons present, and so forth. It is similar for the monatomic vibrational chain. If you consider a particular value of k, if this mode is in its ground state, we say that there are no kphonons present. If it is in the first excited state, we say there is one kphonon present, and so forth. Does that help? 
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