What is a crystal?

Ron Lifshitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Almost 25 years have passed since Shechtman discovered quasicrystals, and 15 years since the Commission on Aperiodic Crystals of the International Union of Crystallography put forth a provisional definition of the term crystal to mean "any solid having an essentially discrete diffraction diagram." Have we learned enough about crystallinity in the last 25 years, or do we need more time to explore additional physical systems? There is much confusion and contradiction in the literature in using the term crystal. Are we ready now to propose a permanent definition for crystal to be used by all? I argue that time has come to put a sense of order in all the confusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-317
Number of pages5
JournalZeitschfrift fur Kristallographie
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007


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