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28
votes
3answers
7k views

Are W & Z bosons virtual or not?

W and Z bosons are observed/discovered. But as force carrying bosons they should be virtual particles, unobservable? And also they require to have mass, but if they are virtual they may be off-shell, ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Are elementary particles actually more elementary than quasiparticles?

Quarks and leptons are considered elementary particles, while phonons, holes, and solitons are quasiparticles. In light of emergent phenomena, such as fractionally charged particles in fractional ...
26
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a phonon?

I am trying to understand intuitively what a phonon is, but for the moment I find it quite difficult (having a limited background in quantum mechanics, an undergraduate course in non-relativistic QM). ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

The Spectral Function in Many-Body Physics and its Relation to Quasiparticles

recently, I stumbled accross a concept which might be very helpful understanding quasiparticles and effective theories (and might shed light on an the question How to calculate the properties of ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between a photon and a phonon?

More specifically, how does a wave-particle duality differ from a quasiparticle/collective excitation? What makes a photon a gauge boson and a phonon a Nambu–Goldstone boson?
4
votes
3answers
801 views

How does Bloch's theorem generalize to a finite sized crystal?

I would be fine with a one dimensional lattice for the purpose of answering this question. I am trying to figure out what more general theorem (if any) gives Bloch's theorem as the number of unit ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Phonon carries zero spin. Why?

photons and phonons both have polarization, we attribute spin 1 for photons but spin 0 for phonons. Why?
3
votes
0answers
232 views

what interactions would take place between a free proton and a dipolariton?

What interactions can be expected to take place between a free proton and a dipolariton, (a) at high energies and (b) at lower energies? A dipolariton is a bosonic quasi-particle mentioned in a ...
3
votes
0answers
133 views
1
vote
0answers
122 views

In what environments can a dipolariton form?

In what environments can a dipolariton form? The article in Science in which it is introduced discusses it in the context of an optical cavity in a semiconductor. Can this quasiparticle occur ...