Summary and Info
Until the 1970s all materials studied consisted of periodic arrays of unit cells, or were amorphous. In the last decades a new class of solid state matter, called aperiodic crystals, has been found. It is a long range ordered structure, but without lattice periodicity. It is found in a wide range of materials: organic and anorganic compounds, minerals (including a substantial portion of the earths crust), and metallic alloys, under various pressures and temperatures. Because of the lack of periodicity the usual techniques for the study of structure and physical properties no longer work, and new techniques have to be developed. This book deals with the characterisation of the structure, the structure determination and the study of the physical properties, especially dynamical and electronic properties of aperiodic crystals. The treatment is based on a description in a space with more dimensions than three, the so-called superspace. This allows us to generalise the standard crystallography and to look differently at the dynamics. The three main classes of aperiodic crystals, modulated phases, incommensurate composites and quasicrystals are treated from a unified point of view, which stresses similarities of the various systems. The book assumes as a prerequisite a knowledge of the fundamental techniques of crystallography and the theory of condensed matter, and covers the literature at the forefront of the field.
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