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Question

Is the density of a unit cell the same as the density of the substance?


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Solution

Unit cell:

  • The mass of a unit cell is equal to the product of the number of atoms in a unit cell and the mass of each atom in the unit cell.
  • For real crystals with defects, the density can be slightly different due to vaccancies, dislocations, grain boundaries,s, etc.

A unit cell will have a density of,

D=MassofunitcellVolumeofunitcell=Z×MNa×a3

Depending on what sort of cell it is, the number of atoms will vary. The mass of a unit cell is calculated by multiplying the number of atoms (n) into the mass of each atom ‘m’

UnitCellMass=m×n

Hence the density of a unit cell is the same as the density of the substance.


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