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geometrical frustration


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  • In condensed matter physics, the term geometrical frustration (or in short: frustration) means a phenomenon in which the geometrical properties of the crystal lattice or the presence of conflicting atomic forces forbid simultaneous minimization of the interaction energies acting at a given site. This may lead to highly degenerate ground states with a nonzero entropy at zero temperature. Or in simple terms, the substance can never be completely frozen, because the structure it forms does not have a single minimal-energy state, so motion on a molecular scale continues even at absolute zero and even without input of energy. (Wikipedia)

    January 16, 2012