What Is the Definiton of Crystal Lattice?

definiton-crystal-lattice Credit: Alfred Pasieka/Photolibrary/Getty Images

A crystal lattice is a rigid, three-dimensional atomic structure for the solid phase of matter. Characteristics of a crystal lattice include a symmetrical and infinitely repeating arrangement of atoms.

Solids may appear as amorphous or in a crystal lattice. A crystal lattice structure contributes to the incompressibility and rigidity of those solids. Fourteen unique three-dimensional configurations exist, called Bravais lattices. These fourteen lattices are divided into six categories: hexagonal, isometric, monoclinic, orthorhombic, triclinic and trigonal. It is also important to note that crystal lattices are not exclusive to rocks and minerals featuring planar cleavage, and apply to metals and nonmetals.