Callaway, Joseph Formerly, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University; and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Zone construction
- Application to band theory
- Additional Readings
In the propagation of any type of wave motion through a crystal lattice, the frequency is a periodic function of wave vector k. This function may be complicated by being multivalued; that is, it may have more than one branch. Discontinuities may also occur. In order to simplify the treatment of wave motion in a crystal, a zone in k-space is defined which forms the fundamental periodic region, such that the frequency or energy for a k outside this region may be determined from one of those in it. This region is known as the Brillouin zone (sometimes called the first or the central Brillouin zone). It is usually possible to restrict attention to k values inside the zone. Discontinuities occur only on the boundaries. If the zone is repeated indefinitely, all k-space will be filled. Sometimes it is also convenient to define larger figures with similar properties which are combinations of the first zone and portions of those formed by replication. These are referred to as higher Brillouin zones.
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