Ok I think I understand. Just to confirm - you could say, then, that a phonon is a particle of energy hbar*omega, and if you want to increase/reduce the energy of, say, your simple harmonic oscillator, you would add phonons to it one at a time, so to speak?
Is there any more substance to this theory than this? Or are phonons just a way of thinking about it? (i.e. I'm guessing you can't excite a QHO from the nth to the (n+1)th state by "firing a phonon" at it in the same way that you can excite an atom with photons - so how does adding/removing phonons actually work? Is it just a manifestation of adding energy by other means?)
« Back to index