Structures beyond crystals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Dan Shechtman made a seminal observation of the appearance on "non-crystallographic" symmetry in an alloy at the US National Bureau of Standards on April 8, 1982. This day has become known as the date of the discovery of quasicrystals. It was not easy to gain recognition for this discovery and the first printed report about it appeared two and a half years after the observation, which then was followed by an avalanche of publications. This was as if theoreticians and other experimentalists had only been waiting for a pioneer to come out with this revolutionary experiment. The discovery of quasicrystals just as the discovery of the structure of biological macromolecules was part of the development in which the framework of classical crystallography was crumbling and generalized crystallography-the science of structures-has emerged that had long been advanced by J. Desmond Bernal and his pupils. The discovery of quasicrystals offers some lessons about the nature of scientific discovery. This contribution presents selected aspects of the recognition of the importance of structures beyond crystals and is by far not a complete history of the areas involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Structure
Volume976
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2010

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Quasicrystals
Crystallography
Crystal structure
Macromolecules
Experiments

Keywords

  • Alan Mackay
  • Dan Shechtman
  • Five-fold symmetry
  • Generalized crystallography
  • J. Desmond Bernal
  • Quasicrystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Structures beyond crystals. / Hargittai, I.

In: Journal of Molecular Structure, Vol. 976, No. 1-3, 15.07.2010, p. 81-86.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hargittai, I. / Structures beyond crystals. In: Journal of Molecular Structure. 2010 ; Vol. 976, No. 1-3. pp. 81-86.
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