follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

space group

noun, Crystallography
1.
a set of symmetry elements that brings a periodic arrangement of points on a Bravais space lattice to its original position.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for space group
  • Three of those pairs have no opposite sense or racemic screw axes within a single space group.
  • For transformation to the standard setting leave new space group symbol blank.
Encyclopedia Article for space group

in crystallography, any of the ways in which the orientation of a crystal can be changed without seeming to change the position of its atoms. These changes may involve displacement of the whole structure along a crystallographic axis (translation), as well as the point group operations of rotation about an axis, reflection in a plane, inversion about a centre, or sequential rotary inversion. As demonstrated in the 1890s, only 230 distinct combinations of these changes are possible; these 230 combinations define the 230 space groups. A crystal can be assigned to one of these groups after the arrangement of its atoms is studied, as by X-ray crystallography, thereby providing a definitive way of categorizing the inherent symmetry of the crystal

Learn more about space group with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for space group

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for space

9
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for space group