Predicting the composition of a steel alloy

Producing energy on Earth through nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers the sun, has proven to be a major challenge. The extreme conditions needed for such a reaction require the walls of a nuclear fusion device ...

Quantum matter breakthrough: Tuning density waves

Scientists at EPFL have found a new way to create a crystalline structure called a "density wave" in an atomic gas. The findings can help us better understand the behavior of quantum matter, one of the most complex problems ...

A crystal, but not as we know it

When we think of crystals, we think of ice, kitchen salt, quartz, and so on—hard solids whose shapes show a regular pattern.

Say hello to the toughest material on Earth

Scientists have measured the highest toughness ever recorded, of any material, while investigating a metallic alloy made of chromium, cobalt, and nickel (CrCoNi). Not only is the metal extremely ductile—which, in materials ...

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Crystal structure

In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms in a crystal. A crystal structure is composed of a motif, a set of atoms arranged in a particular way, and a lattice. Motifs are located upon the points of a lattice, which is an array of points repeating periodically in three dimensions. The points can be thought of as forming identical tiny boxes, called unit cells, that fill the space of the lattice. The lengths of the edges of a unit cell and the angles between them are called the lattice parameters. The symmetry properties of the crystal are embodied in its space group. A crystal's structure and symmetry play a role in determining many of its properties, such as cleavage, electronic band structure, and optical properties.

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