Question #79a6c

1 Answer
Aug 29, 2017

A photon is the fundamental unit of light, a phonon is an 'organised' wave that can travel large distances with little loss in energy (amplitude.)


They sound similar, but describe completely different systems and behaviours. Photons are one (of 4) ways of discussing light, or more properly electromagnetic radiation.

Phonons can be waves of acoustic, mechanical or other energy and are often of key importance in describing a variety of processes as they act almost like particles travelling through a medium in an organised manner.

The Wikipedia article here is good, but quite technical.