Crystals are solid material whose constituents, such as atoms, molecules or ions, are *arranged in a highly ordered microscopic pattern*, a crystal lattice that extends with regularity in all directions. Use for all crystallography and ordered structure topics.

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Is there an intuitive reason for why the reciprocal lattice of FCC is BCC and vice versa?

This can be proved using formulae for generating reciprocal lattice vectors from direct lattice vectors. But does this result have more to it than meets the eye?
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198 views

How to prove Bloch function is periodic in reciprocal lattice?

How to prove Bloch function is periodic in reciprocal lattice? I saw in some textbooks this formula: $$ \Psi_{\mathbf{k}} (\mathbf{r}) = \sum_{\mathbf{G}} c_{\mathbf{k}+\mathbf{G}}e^{i(\mathbf{k}+\...
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115 views

How is periodic potential approximation justified in semiconductor physics?

In semiconductor physics the usual approximation is that of infinite crystal. This seems to allow one to write Hamiltonian for electron subsystem (in adiabatic approximation) as having periodic ...
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345 views

Why do crystals grow in preferred directions?

I want to know why snowflakes (and other crystals) grow symmetrically and I find the leading answer to the established question to be entirely unsatisfactory. When water freezes, you get ice. Ice,...
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52 views

neglect of lattice potential for conduction electrons

Why is it true that in nearly free electron compunds, complete neglect of the lattice potential is usually a good approximation as long as one considers crystal momenta remote from the boundaries of ...
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128 views

planewave Ansatz for modelling phonon dispersion in crystals

From Ashcroft's "Solid State Physics", for one-dimensional monatomic Bravais lattice, the equations of motion of ions are: \begin{equation} M\ddot u(na)=-K[2u(na)-u([n-1]a)-u([n+1]a)] \end{equation} ...
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137 views

Zero Diffraction Plates: Why do they give such low diffraction signals?

In our laboratory we use silicon plates named "Zero Diffraction Plates". They are named so because they give extremely low diffraction signals in an XRD instrument (reflection mode). But how are these ...
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487 views

What limits the doping concentration in a semiconductor?

Si and Ge can be blended in any ratio, $\mathrm{Si}_x\mathrm{Ge}_{1-x},\ 0\le x\le 1$. So do InxGa1-x. So what exactly causes doping impurities inside Si/Ge/etc. to saturate at $\sim 10^{-19}\ \...
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261 views

Difference in electrons excitation in Au (111) between perpendicular and diagonal orientation?

In Au (111) single crystalline as shown in attached file, is there a difference the way electrons are excited when they are excited from perpendicular and diagonal orientation as shown in the figure (...
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75 views

At which gravitational acceleration would a diamond crystal lattice break down?

Gravitational acceleration can be upto infinite (which is at the Event Horizon of a Black Hole). On which least acceleration, would crystal lattice of diamond break down? Update: Please, don't apply ...
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163 views

Coordinate system for crystallographic groups

In the International Tables for Crystallography for each crystallographic group an asymmetric unit is supplied (mathematicians call this a fundamental domain of the group). This region is a bounded ...
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84 views

Why can the twin plane be uncoincide with the composition plane in reflection twin?

In the book Elements of X-Ray Diffraction, p67, I found the following sentence: In the case of a reflection twin, the composition plane may or may not coincide with the twin plane. But I think ...
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Why are (most) solids periodic?

Is there a rigorous proof that periodic arrangements minimize the energy of a group of particles?
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340 views

Crystal structure of Silicon

From what I was reading, Silicon has a FCC unit cell but they also said that the Silicon atoms form a tetrahedron at 109 degrees from each other. Then they said that the tetrahedron is formed by ...
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33 views

Binding forces in crystalline solids

I am referring to rocks in this instance. Individual crystals grow together in an igneous rock as it solidifies. I know that the SiO4 tetrahedron is the basic building unit of silicate minerals, and ...
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49 views

Can I tear apart a pipe with magnetostriction? And how big field should I use?

As I know, with magnetostriction we can "stretch" its unit cell. The stronger is the field, the more it expands the cell. Using alternating current in coils that induce magnetic field we can stretch ...
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141 views

How corner atom of a cube is shared by 8 atoms? [closed]

Since each atom is at the corner of a cube and 8 cubes meet at each corner. Therefore each atom is shared by 8 cubes. But I don't visualize it, so please tell how I Visualize it.
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66 views

Crystal lattices in solid state

I found this problem in Christman's book fundamental of solid state physics What is the Miller index for a plane parallel to both $3\vec{a}+\vec{c}$ and $\vec{b}$, in any lattice?
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How many atoms exist within a continuum body?

Materials, such as solids, liquids and gases, are composed of molecules separated by "empty" space. On a microscopic scale, materials have cracks and discontinuities. However, certain physical ...
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211 views

Does graphene have a honeycomb lattice?

In my grand ignorance I would state that graphene has a honeycomb lattice. Some tend to agree with me and some others do not. I'm curious to know what members of the SE community think is the right ...
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235 views

Help needed to understand the dispersion curve of a 1D lattice with diatomic basis

I am trying to understand the dispersion curve (as shown below) of a 1D lattice with diatomic basis. Here are my questions: Can both optical and acoustic branch of phonon simultaneously exist in ...
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40 views

Why Nitrides have internal polarization?

Why GaN has internal polarization? I know that in wurtzite crystal structure, the atomistic bonds are not equivalent and as a result there appears a net dipole and consequently a polarization. But ...
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156 views

How many are the points which are $n$th nearest to a certain point in a hexagonal lattice

Suppose there are infinite points arranged as hexagonal lattice. The question is the one as the title. First we choose a point called $A$. Then when we count the $n$th nearest points to $A$, what ...
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137 views

Calculating number of atoms per cell in a crystal. Nonsense question in class

I don't agree at all with this question, and I think my teacher does not understand his topic. I hope you can prove me wrong. The question was this one: Potassium crystallises in a Body Centered ...
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101 views

Crystallography: relationship between side length and radius of atom

For a FCC the relationship between the radius and the side length 'a' is 4r=(2)^.5 a And this is derived by drawing a diagonal across one of the faces of the unit cell. However, is this meant to be ...
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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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225 views

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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141 views

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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2k views

$c/a$ 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 to ...
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407 views

Volume of Brillouin zone is the same as Fourier primitive cell?

In Kittel's solid state text, problem 2.3, he says that the volume of the Brillouin zone is the same as a primitive parallelepiped in Fourier space. Somehow I can't see why this is true. Can someone ...
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105 views

Quantity to measure order in crystals

Imagine a cubic lattice for simplicity and put some atomic configuration inside of each unit cell. Lattice is of course a highly ordered entity (long range order). Please, how could I quantitatively ...
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159 views

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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424 views

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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224 views

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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106 views

What physical phenomenon occured in this experiment?

I noticed a strange behavior of my experiment. I have a glass container with a fully saturated solution of CuSO4, which I use to grow CuSO4 crystals, by waiting for the water to evaporate. Recently I ...
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Mixed-Alloy materials

Short version: Is it a physical problem (crystal structure/grains/redox/etc.) or just a logistics problem (keeping the solutes from homogenizing, molten/solid/temperature related problems) that keeps ...
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Why is there a 'loophole' in Mermin Wagner for rotations?

I'm just starting out in my mathematics career by looking at some simple stuff on broken symmetries in statistical mechanics. Since 3D is 'hard' it would be very nice to look at 2D toy models of ...
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365 views

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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28 views

Effect of crystal growth on its scintillation

How does crystal growth affect its scintillation properties? What are possible ways in which growth of CaWO crystals grown via Chochralski method could be modified to avoid non-linearity in its ...
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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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190 views

How to calculate the density of a polycrystalline sample?

I'm trying to figure out the density (g/cm^3) of La2CuO4. I know that the mass is 405.355 g/mol; what do I have to do to calculate the volume? Thanks!
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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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Bragg diffraction and lattice planes

Crystalline substances show, for certain sharply defined wavelength and incident directions, very sharp peaks of scattered X-ray radiation. From the illustration below we see that we get constructive ...
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173 views

What is the symmetry difference between simple-cube and body-centered-cube structures

If the lattice types are categorized according to the point group symmetries, then what is the difference, for example, between sc and bcc structures?
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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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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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2answers
519 views

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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1answer
169 views

Why does a halocline form?

I was doing an experiment over the last couple of days to try to crystallize alum using a thermal gradient. The idea was that solute at the bottom of my container would be dissolved at a higher ...
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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 ...