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VOLUME 112 | ISSUE 7 | PAGE 482
Delocalization of longitudinal acoustic-like excitations in DNA due to structural effects
Terahertz-frequency phonon-like modes in DNA have been widely studied both experimentally and theoretically in recent years. However, current theoretical models turn out to fail to reproduce some basic properties of these modes. Using a generalized hydrodynamics approach and the results of inelastic X-ray scattering measurements, we propose a model to describe structural effects due to wave number-dependence of the static structure factor in the dynamics of longitudinal acoustic-like excitations in DNA. Our analysis qualitatively suggests that on a length scale corresponding to a wave number region between the positions of the maximum and the minimum of the dispersion relation for the excitation frequency, structural effects may induce a tendency of delocalization of the dynamics. This proposal is consistent with the recent experimental observations of delocalized terahertz-frequency DNA phonon-like modes that seem to be relevant to biological function.