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By Gerhard Herzberg

For novices and experts in different fields: the Nobel Laureate's greatly well known advent to atomic spectra and their courting to atomic constructions, stressing uncomplicated ideas. The remedy is actual, instead of mathematical, with scan serving because the place to begin for conception. eighty illustrations.

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It was only at the beginning of this century that careful and extensive studies of the shape of bubbles in foams and cells in tissues were undertaken. In particular, a large series of biological tissues was meticulously studied by F T Lewis of Harvard University between 1923 and 1950 3 . He concluded that cells in undifferentiated tissues have polyhedral shapes with about 14 faces on average and he inferred that they tend to be approximated by Kelvin’s ideal polyhedron. Further investigation now indicates that the cells have about 14 faces on average but a large variety of shapes contribute to form the cellular structure.

In order to fix their positions, wax may be poured in and the contents then dissected. The first person to undertake this experiment systematically was J D Bernal, or rather his student John Finney, in the 1950s 1. The random packing of balls became known as Bernal packing. One might wonder why it was not done before. Certainly it is tedious, but such tedium is often part of the price of a PhD. The preceding century, in which the detailed atomic arrangements of crystals were hypothesized and powerful theories of symmetry applied to them, was one in which perfect order was the ideal (as one might expect in an imperial age).

For instance, ¼ ½¾¿ . 4(b)) was obtained sphere packing. Recently a packing with by decorating, with tetrahedra, the vertices of the CdSO net10 . 11 The lowest known density for stable packing is ¼¼ . This value is about ten times smaller than the one for the loose random packing. 4 are highly symmetric and cannot be obtained or approximated by simply mixing spheres at random. 7 Ordered close packing What about dense ordered packings of spheres, the central question, from which we have digressed?

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Atomic spectra and atomic structure by Gerhard Herzberg

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