The concept of special directions in the Brillouin zone and the applicability of Houston's formula (or its extended versions) to both theoretical and experimental investigations are discussed. We propose some expressions to describe the isotropic component in systems having both cubic and non-cubic symmetry.
The results presented have implications for both experimentalists who want to obtain average properties from a small number of measurements on single crystals, and for theoretical calculations which are to be compared with isotropic experimental measurements, for example coming from investigations of polycrystalline or powder samples. As George Orwell might have put it: all directions are equal, but some directions are more equal than others.
Bibliographical noteDate of Acceptance: 14/09/2015
- isotropic average
- debye temperature
- specific heat
- compton scattering