Cahn, John W. National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Shechtman, Dan Department of Materials Engineering, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. Nobelist.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Structure determination
- Defects in quasicrystals
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A solid with conventional crystalline properties but exhibiting a point-group symmetry inconsistent with translational periodicity. Like crystals, quasicrystals display discrete diffraction patterns, crystallize into polyhedral forms and have long-range orientational order, all of which indicate that their structure is not random. But the unusual symmetry and the finding that the discrete diffraction pattern does not fall on a reciprocal periodic lattice suggest a solid that is quasiperiodic. Their discovery in 1982 contradicted a long-held belief that all crystals would be periodic arrangements of atoms or molecules.
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