The vibrational density of statesof solids controls their thermal and transport properties. In crystals, the low-frequency modes are extended phonons distributed in frequency according to Debye’s law,. In amorphous solids, phonons are damped, and at low frequencycomprises extended modes in excess over Debye’s prediction, leading to the so-called boson peak inat, and quasilocalized ones. Here we show that boson peak and phonon attenuation in the Rayleigh scattering regime are related, as suggested by correlated fluctuating elasticity theory, and that amorphous materials can be described as homogeneous isotropic elastic media punctuated by quasilocalized modes acting as elastic heterogeneities. Our numerical results resolve the conflict between theoretical approaches attributing amorphous solids’ vibrational anomalies to elastic disorder and localized defects.
- Received 9 June 2021
- Revised 19 August 2021
- Accepted 8 October 2021
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