Symmetry in Solids

  • Richard C. PowellEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 824)


The intent of this book is to demonstrate the importance of symmetry in determining the properties of solids and the power of using group theory and tensor algebra to elucidate these properties. It is not meant to be a comprehensive text on solid state physics, so many important aspects of condensed matter physics not related to symmetry are not covered here. The book begins by discussing the concepts of symmetry relevant to crystal structures. This is followed by a summary of the basics of group theory and how it is applied to quantum mechanics. Next is a discussion of the description of the macroscopic properties of crystals by tensors and how symmetry determines the form of these tensors. The basic concepts covered in these early chapters are then applied to a series of different examples. There is a discussion of the use of point symmetry in the crystal field theory treatment of point defects in solids. Next is a discussion of crystal symmetry in determining the optical properties of solids, followed by a chapter on the nonlinear optical properties of solids. Then the role of symmetry in treating lattice vibrations is described. The last chapter discusses the effects of translational symmetry on electronic energy bands in solids.


Brillouin Zone Point Group Reciprocal Lattice Reciprocal Space Mirror Plane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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