First a general description of the concept of crystalline structures is presented with some historical background information. The classical approach of periodic structures is presented along with the important topic of symmetry and its role characterizing physical properties. The limitations of the classical model are then introduced in view of the new experimental observations discovered since the 1970s. New forms of crystalline structures including incommensurately modulated and composite structures are presented along with quasicrystalline structures (quasicrystals). The necessity to extend the theory of space group symmetry is then discussed and the concept of superspace symmetry is introduced in order to describe these new forms of matters.
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