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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chaotic crystallography: How the physics of information reveals structural order in materials

  • Author(s): Varn, DP
  • Crutchfield, JP
  • et al.

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. We review recent progress in applying information-theoretic and computation-theoretic measures to describe material structure that transcends previous methods based on exact geometric symmetries. We discuss the necessary theoretical background for this new toolset and show how the new techniques detect and describe novel material properties. We discuss how the approach relates to well known crystallographic practice and examine how it provides novel interpretations of familiar structures. Throughout, we concentrate on disordered materials that, while important, have received less attention both theoretically and experimentally than those with either periodic or aperiodic order.

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