Physical applications of crystallographic color groups: Landau theory of phase transitions

D. B. Litvin, J. N. Kotzev, J. L. Birman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The simplest crystallographic color groups are the permutational color groups. Elements of these groups combine two types of transformations: One is a rotation and/or translation of physical space and the other is a permutation. The groups considered here are subgroups of direct products and abstractly isomorphic to crystallographic groups, hence their relative simplicity. Despite this simplicity, there is a richness of information contained in each such group. The group symbol GPGHH(A, A)n conveys the following: the isomorphic crystallographic group G, a subgroup H of G, the largest normal subgroup H of G, contained in H, and a transitive group of permutations P(A, A)n isomorphic to the factor group GH. We derive and tabulate here all classes of equivalent permutational color point groups using a definition of equivalence classes which we physically motivate. For applications we require and report here the permutation representation DGH of G associated with each GP and we reduce DGH into irreducible components. The major application given here is to the Landau theory of symmetry change in continuous phase transitions. A complete set of tables is presented for all allowed equitranslational ("Zellengleich" or k=0) phase transitions in crystals based on group-theoretical criteria, including a new "kernel-core" criterion. The tables may be used to determine all active representations for transitions between two specific groups or alternatively, all possible subgroups which can be obtained from a specific group and irreducible representation. We also relate two classifications schemes for phase transitions to the structure of permutational color groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6947-6970
Number of pages24
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical applications of crystallographic color groups: Landau theory of phase transitions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this