Demo CP

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Close packing of atoms

Table tennis balls that are glued together can be stacked on top of one another showing the two most important kinds of packing - hexagonal and face centred cubic packing. One may use balls painted in different colors to bring home the ideas more vividly. Click on the images for close-ups.
A single layer of atoms.
A single layer of atoms.
A single row of atoms stacked on the bottom layer.
A single row of atoms stacked on the bottom layer.
A complete second layer stacked on top of the bottom layer. There is one and only on way in which the close packing is possible.
A complete second layer stacked on top of the bottom layer. There is one and only on way in which the close packing is possible.
A close up showing the interstices.
A close up showing the interstices.
The third layer is on top of the interstices in the bottom layer. Called ABC stacking (fcp).
The third layer is on top of the interstices in the bottom layer. Called ABC stacking (fcp).
The third layer is directly on top of the atoms in the bottom layer. Called AB stacking (hcp).
The third layer is directly on top of the atoms in the bottom layer. Called AB stacking (hcp).
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