Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Research Article

The absorption of very high frequency sound in dielectric solids

S. Simonsa1

a1 Cavendish Laboratory Cambridge


A theoretical treatment is given of the absorption of longitudinally polarized sound in dielectric crystals of high symmetry, due to interaction with the thermal phonous. The Q value for the absorption is calculated in terms of the deviation from Hooke's law, the result being applicable at low temperatures when the mean free path of the phonons is greater than the wavelength of the acoustic wave. The theory is applied to cubic crystals, and in particular to solid argon, where a minimum Q value of about 108–109 is calculated. It is suggested that measurement of the absorption (at present somewhat beyond experimental techniques) would supply information on the deviation from linear elasticity, as well as providing a satisfactory verification of the basic interaction theory. The effect of isotopes, and, in more complicated structures, of optic modes, is shown to be negligible.

(Received September 06 1956)