Using a single colloidal crystal, phonon dispersion of the normal modes of vibration modes were investigated using photon correlation spectroscopy, or dynamic light scattering. This technique relies on the relaxation or decay of concentration (or density) fluctuations. These are often associated with longitudinal modes in the acoustic range. A distinctive increase in the sound wave velocity (and thus the elastic modulus) by a factor of 2.5 has been observed at the structural transition from colloidal liquid to colloidal solid, or point of ordering.
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