Cleavage Fracture of Bismuth Single Crystals


EARLIER work1 on the tensile stress necessary to cause cleavage fracture in zinc single crystals has shown that Sohncke's law was not obeyed. (Sohncke's law states that a crystal will break when the stress normal to the cleavage plane reaches some critical value). However, it is clear from the literature2 that for some metal single crystals, notably bismuth, antimony and tellurium, Sohncke's law is obeyed. A study of the cleavage fracture of bismuth crystals was therefore undertaken in an attempt to discover the underlying cause of the difference of behaviour of zinc and bismuth.

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