1.4 Crystal Lattices and Unit Cells

You must have noticed that when tiles are placed to cover a floor, a repeated pattern is generated. If after setting tiles on floor we mark a point at same location in all the tiles (e.g. Centre of the tile) and see the marked positions only ignoring the tiles, we obtain a set of points. This set of points is the scaffolding on which pattern has been developed by placing tiles. This scaffolding is a space lattice on which two-dimensional pattern has been developed by placing structural units on its…

1.3 Classification of Crystalline Solids

In Section 1.2, we have learnt about amorphous substances and that they have only short range order. However, most of the solid substances are crystalline in nature. For example, all the metallic elements like iron, copper and silver; non-metallic elements like sulphur, phosphorus and iodine and compounds like sodium chloride, zinc sulphide and naphthalene form crystalline solids. Crystalline solids can be classified in various ways. The method depends on the purpose in hand. Here, we will classify crystalline solids on the basis of nature of intermolecular forces or bonds that…

1.2 Amorphous and Crystalline Solids

Solids can be classified as crystalline or amorphous on the basis of the nature of order present in the arrangement of their constituent particles. A crystalline solid usually consists of a large number of small crystals, each of them having a definite characteristic geometrical shape. The arrangement of constituent particles (atoms, molecules or ions) in a crystal is ordered and repetitive in three dimensions. If we observe the pattern in one region of the crystal, we can predict accurately the position of particles in any other region of the crystal…

1.1 General Characteristics of Solid State

In Class XI you have learnt that matter can exist in three states namely, solid, liquid and gas. Under a given set of conditions of temperature and pressure, which of these would be the most stable state of a given substance depends upon the net effect of two opposing factors. These are intermolecular forces which tend to keep the molecules (or atoms or ions) closer, and the thermal energy, which tends to keep them apart by making them move faster. At sufficiently low temperature, the thermal energy is low and…

Unit 1 – The Solid State

The vast majority of solid substances like high temperature superconductors, bio compatible plastics, silicon chips, etc. are destined to play an ever expanding role in future development of science. From our earlier studies, we know that liquids and gases are called fluids because of their ability to flow. The fluidity in both of these states is due to the fact that the molecules are free to move about. On the contrary, the constituent particles in solids have fixed positions and can only oscillate about their mean positions. This explains the…