Research CommentariesPhysics

Sparse Crystals

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Science  30 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5351, pp. 675-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5351.675

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Atoms in ordinary matter are held together through bonds formed by electrons and are dominated by the rules of quantum mechanics. In a purely classical solid, however, an array of charged particles can be held together by electrostatic forces. In his research commentary, Schiffer discusses work reported in the same issue by Itano et al. in which the cubic ordering of a Coulombic crystalline solid has been observed for the first time.