InternationalReciprocal spaceTables for Crystallography Volume B Edited by U. Shmueli © International Union of Crystallography 2010 |
International Tables for Crystallography (2010). Vol. B, ch. 1.1, pp. 3-5
## Section 1.1.3. Fundamental relationships |

We now present a brief derivation and a summary of the most important relationships between the direct and the reciprocal bases. The usual conventions of vector algebra are observed and the results are presented in the conventional crystallographic notation. Equations (1.1.2.1) and (1.1.2.2) now become and respectively, and the relationships are obtained as follows.

It is seen from (1.1.3.1) that must be proportional to the vector product of **b** and **c**, and, since , the proportionality constant *K* equals . The mixed product can be interpreted as the positive volume of the unit cell in the direct lattice only if **a**, **b** and **c** form a *right-handed* set. If the above condition is fulfilled, we obtain and analogously where *V* and are the volumes of the unit cells in the associated direct and reciprocal lattices, respectively. Use has been made of the fact that the mixed product, say , remains unchanged under cyclic rearrangement of the vectors that appear in it.

The reciprocal relationship of *V* and follows readily. We have from equations (1.1.3.2), (1.1.3.3) and (1.1.3.4) If we make use of the vector identity and equations (1.1.3.1) and (1.1.3.2), it is seen that .

The relationships of the angles between the pairs of vectors (**b**, **c**), (**c**, **a**) and (**a**, **b**), respectively, and the angles between the corresponding pairs of reciprocal basis vectors, can be obtained by simple vector algebra. For example, we have from (1.1.3.3):

If we make use of the identity (1.1.3.5), and compare the two expressions for , we readily obtain Similarly, and The expressions for the cosines of the direct angles in terms of those of the reciprocal ones are analogous to (1.1.3.6)–(1.1.3.8). For example,

Various computational and algebraic aspects of mutually reciprocal bases are most conveniently expressed in terms of the metric tensors of these bases. The tensors will be treated in some detail in the next section, and only the definitions of their matrices are given and interpreted below.

Consider the length of the vector . This is given by and can be written in matrix form as where and This is the matrix of the metric tensor of the direct basis, or briefly the direct metric. The corresponding reciprocal metric is given by The matrices ** G** and are of fundamental importance in crystallographic computations and transformations of basis vectors and coordinates from direct to reciprocal space and

*vice versa.*Examples of applications are presented in Part 3 of this volume and in the remaining sections of this chapter.

It can be shown (*e.g.* Buerger, 1941) that the determinants of ** G** and equal the squared volumes of the direct and reciprocal unit cells, respectively. Thus, and and a direct expansion of the determinants, from (1.1.3.12) and (1.1.3.14), leads to and The following algorithm has been found useful in computational applications of the above relationships to calculations in reciprocal space (

*e.g.*data reduction) and in direct space (

*e.g.*crystal geometry).

The direct and reciprocal sets of unit-cell parameters, as well as the corresponding metric tensors, are now available for further calculations.

Explicit relations between direct- and reciprocal-lattice parameters, valid for the various crystal systems, are given in most textbooks on crystallography [see also Chapters 1.1 and 1.2 of Volume C (Koch, 2004)].

### References

Buerger, M. J. (1941).*X-ray Crystallography.*New York: John Wiley.

Koch, E. (2004). In

*International Tables for Crystallography*, Vol. C,

*Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Tables*, edited by E. Prince, Chapters 1.1 and 1.2. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.