# Tagged Questions

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### What is the the real world interpretation of the high dimensionality of quasicrystals?

One of the examples of the problems of 5-fold symmetry is that pentagons tiled on a 2D plane do not completely fill that plane, leaving voids. This may be solved by "folding" it into 3D space, and ...
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### Can you explain why crystals form without thermodynamics?

I know that the basic reason that solid crystals form is because it's the lowest energy configuration (i.e. this). I am looking for an intuitive explanation for this process, one that does not involve ...
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### Why aren't base-centered orthorhombic Bravais lattice simple monoclinic?

I am learning 7 crystal systems and 32 Bravais lattices. I am quite confused about why a base-centered orthorhombic Bravais lattice is not a simple monoclinic one, if we take two edges and a half ...
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### $c/a$ ratio for an ideal hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structure [closed]

Show that the $c/a$ ratio for an ideal hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structure is $\left(\frac{8}{3}\right)^\frac{1}{2} = 1.633$. I believe $a$ is the length of $a_1$ and $a_2$. I figured that ...
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### What exactly are crystal planes and how do they reflect x-rays?

What exactly are crystal planes and how do they reflect x-rays? Are crystal planes real physical planes or just an abstract concept? What are these planes made of? If they are an abstraction, what ...
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### Crystal Momentum in a Periodic Potential

I'm working through some basic theory on periodic potentials, and I would appreciate help in understanding the crystal momentum. Suppose we have a Bravais lattice with lattice vectors $\textbf{R}$. ...
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### Lattice geometry and dispersion relation

Is there a general theorem which gives some information about which influence have the lattice geometry (for example sub-lattice structure, square lattice, honeycomb lattice, lattice symmetries, ...) ...
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### Bloch theorem, Energy, Free electron

I'm trying to learn on my own a bit of solid physics to tackle semiconductors afterwards. I'm struggling with the Energy versus $k$ diagrams for a free electron which shows that for a single value of ...
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### How many of the 230 crystallographic groups are realized in nature?

All of them or only a subset? This is a famous and fundamental result in solid state physics.
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### Why do we still get sharp scattering spots with quasi-crystal?

In a quasi-crystal, there is no translational invariance. This means there is no delta-function in the Fourier transform. But to get a sharp scattering spot, we need a delta function. Physically, ...
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### Are there materials that get softer with temperature decrease?

Could be there material that begins melting/softening when it's temperature is lowered? I would say no, but I've seen enough physics to know that not always life is so easy. Moreover I think I've ...
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### Which metal will be on the surface after solidification?

I know that there are some metals that just "like" to be on a surface, so if I make an alloy of such metal and some other metal, the first one will be on the surface after solidification of initially ...
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### Kronig-Penney model

I am studying the Kronig-Penney model as treated in the book by Kittel: Introduction to Solid State Physics. In this model one considers a period potential which is zero in the region $[0,a]$ ...
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### Bloch's theorem

I am studying Bloch's theorem, which can be stated as follows: The eigenfunctions of the wave equation for a period potential are the product of a plane wave $e^{ik \cdot r}$ times a modulation ...
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### Why a mono-atomic crystal layer (2D) can't be stable?

According to Peierls and Landau, 2D crystals were thermodynamically unstable. They can't exist! Of course, this theory was disapproved in 2004 (example: graphene). What is the general definition of ...
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### Pseudocubic unit cells: how to construct one?

I keep coming across the term pseudocubic unit cell while reading about orthorhombic perovskite structures. No clear explanation ...
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### How can one reasonably theoretically model polycrystalline materials?

Many techniques are taught in advanced solid state courses but they are almost all derived for perfectly crystalline materials. For example, band structure really only appears theoretically when you ...
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### Why can't a dislocation terminate in the bulk?

We are told that they can only terminate on surfaces, grain boundaries or other dislocations but we are not told why they can't terminate inside the crystal.
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### What does (001) Silicon mean?

If someone gives me a thin film of Si, and they tell me it's (001) Si, does that mean that the (001) planes of Si are the ones making up the surface of the film?
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### How can I get the lattice constant of a salt?

This is probably a very dummy question, but I am not able to solve it on my own. Given that the radius of $Li^+$ ions is 76 picometers, and the radius of $F^-$ is 133 pm, I would expect the size of a ...
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### Translation invariance in crystals

Context: solid state physics - dynamics of atoms in crystals. Coupling constants are defined as: \begin{align*} \frac{\partial^2\Phi}{\partial r_{nai}\partial r_{mbj}} = \Phi_{nai}^{mbj} ...
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### How to derive the exponential distribution for the Pool-Frenkel effect?

For the Pool-Frenkel effect, the external electrical field $E_{ext}$ reduces barrier by a potential energy amount $U_{ext}(r_{m})$, where $r_{m}$ is the distance maximizing the total potential enrgy ...
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### Overview and doubts about Bloch's theorem and the concept of partial density of states

So I have a large confusion with QM as applied to solid state. The following is a summary of what I know, what I think I know, and what I know I don't know. I hope to stir a discussion that will help ...
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### Anisotropic refractive index with isotropic components?

In relation to my question here I wanted to make sure that my physical argument was not flawed. Anisotropic properties, (especially refractive index) is characteristic of a well-ordered solid ...
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### What determines Phonon - Phonon collisions?

I was in Solid State Physics lecture yesterday and we BRIEFLY went over what causes phonons to collide with one another. Things such as crystal imperfections, boundaries, Temperature, but I was ...
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### Is there a derivation of all possible Bravais lattices in 2D and 3D?

Do any of you know a (possibly elegant) derivation of all possible Bravais Lattice and the Crystallographic Group of Lattices in 2 and 3 dimensions? Group theory /abstract nonsense approaches are ...
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### How to demonstrate that there are just 14 types of Bravais lattice?

Is it possible to demonstrate that there are just 14 types of Bravais lattice without the knowledge of group theory?
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### Why do some things crystallize? (And others don't, for that matter.)

Ice, for example, will form a crystal when frozen under certain circumstances. Why is this the case for ice? While on the subject of water crystallization, why do snowflakes usually form in base 6 ...
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### Molecule vs Crystal

Feynman mentions in his lectures: ...the concept of a molecule of a substance is only approximate and exists only for a certain class of substances. It is clear in the case of water that the ...
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### Should a polyatomic crystal behave similarly to the bulk of each/either of its constituent elements?

Generally, metals are usually fairly conductive, but their oxides aren't. I know conductivity is just one attribute, but in general, should you expect a, say, diatomic bulk crystal's properties to be ...
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### Do indirect optical transitions “cool” the material a little?

So I'm reading in Ashcroft and Mermin about indirect optical transitions: So, a photon comes in, and it only excites the electron across the indirect band gap if a phonon with the appropriate wave ...
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### The boundary between polycrystalline and crystalline

My current understanding of solid crystalline-like materials (please correct me if I'm wrong!) is that it is a continuum in terms of crystallinity, from amorphous (basically no periodicity) to single ...
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### What does the wavevector $\textbf{k}$ mean?

In Ashcroft, Mermin Solid State Physics, Eq. 17.43 is $$\epsilon(\textbf{k}) = \frac{\hbar^2 k^2}{2m} - e\phi(\textbf{r})$$ where $\textbf{k}$ is the wavevector and all other symbols have their ...
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### If my lattice has an atomic basis, do I also find the reciprocals of the basis vectors to get the reciprocal crystal structure?

That is what my crystal structure looks like. The blue atoms sit on every lattice point (basis vector of $\{0,0\}$) and the red atoms have basis vector of $\left\{{2\over3},{1\over3}\right\}$. The ...
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### Is this 2D structure triclinic?

The only rotation axis obvious to me is rotation by 360 degrees, the identity. Vertical mirror planes I've been dicing and cutting it through several planes and I still see none. Yet, the structure ...
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### What would be the basis vectors for this 2D crystal structure?

In the above image, I have a 2D crystal structure. The lattice vectors are described by: a = {-1/2, -Sqrt[3]/2}; b = {1, 0}; and the location of atoms A and B ...
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### What is the difference between lattice vectors and basis vectors?

Google has not been very useful in this regard. It seems no one has clearly defined terms and Kittel has too little on this.
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### I can't figure out crystal planes with negative intercepts

As seen above, I don't follow how you figure out those planes. It seems they're not using the origin labeled. I'm not really sure I understand spatially what's going on in the left figure so let's ...
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### To which real densities do carrier densities in the semi-classical model of a crystal correspond?

In the semi-classical model of a crystal in solid state physics, electrons and holes are assigned effective masses that account for their different mobilities. E.g. in silicon, holes have a bigger ...
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### Algorithm for identifying planes in a Bravais Lattice

I have a lattice with Lattice Vectors $(\vec{t}_1,\vec{t}_2,\vec{t}_3)$ which are NOT orthogonal in general. How can I identify the atoms/unit cells that belong to a plane - that is normal to a given ...
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### Estimate the difference between two sets of atoms

I've been working on amorphous structures derived from a crystalline one (using MD) containing $N$ atoms. I want to prove that these structures are different and to quantify their "differentness". One ...
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### Crystal visualization software for visualizing lattice with reciprocal vectors drawn in same image [closed]

I'm looking for a free crystal visualization program, preferably for Linux, that can visualize the common lattice structures in 3D interactively (rotatable with mouse) and draw in the same picture the ...
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### Crystal momentum and the vector potential

I noticed that the Aharonov–Bohm effect describes a phase factor given by $e^{\frac{i}{\hbar}\int_{\partial\gamma}q A_\mu dx^\mu}$. I also recognize that electrons in a periodic potential gain a phase ...
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### Are there any electro-optic crystals that are also pyroelectric but not birefringent?

As the title says, a crystal that is electr-optic and pyroelectric can it be non-birefrigent?
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### What is crystal field anisotropy or effect ? It forces the magnetic moment to point in particular local direction..

Can you give a basic explanation of what is crystal field anisotropy ? What is the reason to arise ? In spin ice it forces the dipoles to point in the local 111 direction. For partially filled rare ...
Let's say I sum an exponential function $e^{\imath \left(k-k^{\prime}\right) x_{i}}$ over a chain system where every member of the chain is of the same type, e.g., A-A-A-...-A-A (total of N sites) ...