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Crystal lattice and unit cell

  1. Feb 16, 2006 #1
    what's the difference between those two?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2006 #2
    A lattice is a (idealized) structure of crystals where each lattice point represent an identical group of atoms. A group is sometimes called a basis. One can form basis vectors with which all lattice point positions can be expressed. The unit cell (I guess you mean the primitive cell) is the volume defined by the set of basis vectors. This is the smallest volume; there are no cells with smaller volumes.

    Hopefully this was of help. If not, don't hesitate to ask. :smile:
  4. Feb 16, 2006 #3


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    What does your textbook or class notes say ?
  5. Feb 17, 2006 #4
    my textbook says:
    unit cell: crystal structure that's the smallest group of atoms possessing
    the symmetry of the crystal
    lattice: orderly array of points in space

    so does that mean that the unit cell is part of the lattice?
  6. Feb 17, 2006 #5


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    Yes, it is the smallest "representative" part.
  7. Feb 17, 2006 #6
    ok, thanks!!!
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