Why is crystal Anisotropic?

Not all crystals are anisotropic in nature. Anisotropic is one of the properties exhibited by crystalline solids. The anisotropic property of a crystal depends on the symmetry of the unit cell in the crystal. The arrangement of these atoms in the crystal differs in all three planes.  In anisotropic materials such as wood and composites, the properties vary along with the directions of the material.

  • Diamond is crystalline and anisotropic, meaning that its properties are directional.
  • Wood, composite materials, all crystals (except cubic crystal) are examples of anisotropic materials.
  • Anisotropic crystals show birefringence, optical activity, dichroism and dispersion due to different refractive indices.

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