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Problem: Consider the unit cells shown here for three different structures that are commonly observed for metallic elements. Which structure(s) corresponds to the densest packing of atoms?

FREE Expert Solution

  •  A unit cell is the smallest portion of a crystal lattice.

  •  A cubic unit cell has 8 corners, 6 faces, and 1 center. An atom placed in each point occupies a certain fraction of the volume of the cube:


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Problem Details

Consider the unit cells shown here for three different structures that are commonly observed for metallic elements.

 Structure type A is a cube with spheres at the corner and center of each face. Structure type B is a cube with spheres at the corners and center. Structure type C is two spheres on the diagonal of a square cube.

Which structure(s) corresponds to the densest packing of atoms?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Unit Cell concept. You can view video lessons to learn Unit Cell. Or if you need more Unit Cell practice, you can also practice Unit Cell practice problems.

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