Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Definition of atomic planes

  1. Aug 26, 2008 #1
    Atomic planes are defined as the reciprocal quantities 1/u' , 1/v' and 1/w' transformed to the smallest three integers (here the plane intersects the crystal lattice at the unit-cell axes u'a,v'b and w'c).

    My question is, why are reciprocal quantities used? This is something that has bugged me for a very long time... it seems pretty arbitrary to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It's not arbitrary.

    For any general plane described by the equation, [itex]ax+by+cz+d=0[/itex], verify that the intercepts are given by: -d/a, -d/b and -d/c.

    That's the origin of the Miller Indices - they describe the coefficients a,b,c in the equation of the plane (or the direction cosines of its normal).
  4. Aug 29, 2008 #3
    Thanks for the tip, it makes sense now, I just hate learning things without knowing the reason behind it.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Definition atomic planes Date
Definition question about atomic fluorescence Jun 18, 2015
Definition of open boundary conditions Apr 29, 2015
Point group: definition Jan 11, 2015
Conductor band overlap definition question Jul 15, 2014