MATTER LogoIntroduction to Crystallography

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3-D Crystallography > 3-D Lattices and Crystals

Description of Flash Animation.

A portion of a 3-D lattice is shown here. a and b unit vectors can be assigned. A third unit vector c can also be assigned. Unit Cells can be shown for this lattice. The layers in the crystal can be identified. The crystal can be built by attaching a basis to each lattice point. Lattice + Basis = Crystal.

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The definition of a lattice in three dimensions is the same as in two dimensions: a lattice is a set of points, regularly arranged in space, for which the environment of each point is identical.

A 3-D lattice is described by adding a third unit vector, c, to the unit vectors, a and b, which define the unit cell of the 2-D lattice. This is shown here for a small portion of a 3-D lattice. The unit cell of a 3-D lattice takes the general shape of a parallelepiped.

As in the 2-D case, the entire crystal lattice can be constructed by repeating these unit vectors indefinitely. A 3-D structure or crystal is created by adding a basis to each lattice point.

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