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In materials science, a dislocation is a crystallographic defect, or irregularity, within a crystal structure. The presence of dislocations strongly influences many of the properties of materials. The theory describing the elastic fields of the defects was originally developed by Vito Volterra in 1907,<ref>Vito Volterra (1907) "Sur l'équilibre des corps élastiques multiplement connexes", Annales scientifiques de l'École Normale Supérieure, Vol. 24, pp. 401–517</ref> but the term 'dislocation' to refer to a defect on the atomic scale was coined by G. I. Taylor in 1934.<ref> {{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Some types of dislocations can be visualized as being caused by the termination of a plane of atoms in the middle of a crystal. In such a case, the surrounding planes are not straight, but instead they bend around the edge of the terminating plane so that the crystal structure is perfectly ordered on either side. The analogy with a stack of paper is apt: if half a piece of paper is inserted in a stack of paper, the defect in the stack is only noticeable at the edge of the half sheet.

There are two primary types: edge dislocations and screw dislocations. Mixed dislocations are intermediate between these.

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An edge-dislocation (b = Burgers vector)

Mathematically, dislocations are a type of topological defect, sometimes called a soliton. The mathematical theory explains why dislocations behave as stable particles: they can be moved around, but they maintain their identity as they move. Two dislocations of opposite orientation, when brought together, can cancel each other, but a single dislocation typically cannot "disappear" on its own.


Dislocation sections
Intro  Dislocation geometry  Observation of dislocations  Sources of dislocations  Dislocations, slip and plasticity  Dislocation climb   References   External links  

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