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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Transparency of materials

Is transparency of material has something to do with inter- or intra-molecular bonding? E.g. both graphite and diamond are carbon, but graphite is opaque and diamond transparent.
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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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Why does ice have a lower density than water?

Can someone explain me why is ice less dense than water? As I know, all solids are usually denser than the liquids (correct me if I am wrong).
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Interpretation Born-Von Karman boundary conditions

The cyclic Born-Von Karman boundary condition says that if we consider a one dimensional lattice with length $L$, and if $\psi(x,t)$ is the wavefunction of an electron in this lattice, then we can say ...
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Is it possible to “see” atoms?

As per my knowledge, atoms are small beyond our imaginations. But there is an image on Wikipedia that shows silicon atoms observed at the surface of silicon carbide crystals. The image: How can we ...
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Entropy and Crystal Growth

I was reading about growing single crystals and I'm a little confused about this - In most crystal growing processes, a "seed crystal" is used, and the rest of the material crystallizes on the seed ...
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How does the process of freezing water remove salt?

How does freezing water to make ice remove whatever salts were in the water to begin with?
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Is it possible for a crystal to have different structures at different temperatures?

For instance, suppose it is a 50-50 alloy of two metals that is BCC at room temperature $T_0$. If I raise (or lower) the temperature, is it possible for the bonds in the crystal to rearrange and form ...
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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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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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Simplest derivation of Fourier transform for periodic functions (in crystal lattice)?

What is the simplest derivation of the following two well-known formulas that work for crystal lattice [1]: $$ F[f(\mathbf{x})] \equiv \tilde f(\mathbf{G}) = {1\over\Omega_\mathrm{cell}} \...
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Reciprocal Lattice of a non-bravais lattice

Is a reciprocal lattice defined for non-Bravais lattices? I'm trying to work out one for HCP structure and not figuring it out.
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Are synthetically-produced diamonds as hard as natural diamonds?

I was having a discussion with my friend about the intrinsic worthlessness of diamonds (DeBeers and whatnot) and how synthetic diamonds haven't caught on, again because of the marketing/propoganda ...
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Origin of Laue equations?

The Bragg condition (by Bragg in 1913) can be derived by the Laue equations that is making use of the Miller indices and all the latice/crystal stuff (so basically it's bringing Bragg's law to more ...
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How to write the Fröhlich Hamiltonian in one dimension?

I am currently working on a (functional) analysis problem refining Pekar's Ansatz (or adiabatic approximation, as it is called in his beautiful 1961 manuscript "Research in Electron Theory of Crystals"...
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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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How to derive inverse Fourier transform for periodic functions (in crystal lattice)?

I would like to derive the following two well-known formulas that work for crystal lattice [1]: $$ F[f(\mathbf{x})] \equiv \tilde f(\mathbf{G}) = {1\over\Omega_\mathrm{cell}} \int_{\Omega_\...
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Wyckoff positions and lattice coordinations

Many papers use Wyckoff positions and Space Groups to report atom coordinates, making use of the structure's symmetries to save space in the notation (e.g. diamond = Fd-3m, only). How can I ...
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Why is graphene stronger than graphite?

Why is graphene stronger than graphite when graphene is just a single layer while graphite is multiple layers of graphene? And can't we say that diamond and coal also consist of layers of graphene as ...