Do phonons exist in non-crystalline matter?

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The low-frequency properties of glasses are usually explained by phonons. It will be shown here that the motions at these frequencies are vibrational and are not phonons, but localized vibrations of the multifractal cluster structures of the glasses that should be called clustrons. Because of the distinct elements of these structures (clusters) far fewer atoms hold a vibrational degree of freedom than in crystals, thereby explaining the greater density of states in glasses than in the crystal. The extremely strong localization of these clustrons (because the neighbour clusters vibrate at different frequencies) explains the decreased thermal conductivity in glasses apart from the specific heat increase (which would cause a parallel increase in the thermal conductivity in crystals).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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