Twin operation

From Online Dictionary of Crystallography

Opération de maclage (Fr). Zwillingsoperation (Ge). Operazione di geminazione (It). 双晶操作 (Ja). Operación de macla (Sp).

The operation (action) of an element of symmetry that generates a twin.

Let Hi be the oriented point group of the i-th individual of a twin. The intersection group of the oriented vector point groups Hi of the individuals is indicated as H* = ∩iHi. The symmetry of a twin is identified in vector space by a point group K which is a supergroup of H*. The coset decomposition of K with respect to H* gives the possible twin laws, each coset representing a twin law, and each operation in a coset representing a twin operation; the operations in a coset are equivalent under the operations of H*.

Operations in H describe the vector point symmetry of the individuals, whereas those in the cosets obtained by decomposing K in terms of H* connect the different individuals. To underline their different nature, the twin operations are often associated with a 'colour' and K is a thus a chromatic vector point group, known as a twin point group.

See also

  • Chapter 3.3 of International Tables for Crystallography, Volume D