Classical Lattice-Gas Models of Quasicrystals

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One of the fundamental problems of quasicrystals is to understand their occurrence in microscopic models of interacting particles. We review here recent attempts to construct stable quasicrystalline phases. In particular, we compare two recently constructed classical lattice-gas models with translation-invariant interactions and without periodic ground-state configurations. The models are based on nonperiodic tilings of the plane by square-like tiles. In the first model, all interactions can be minimized simultaneously. The second model is frustrated; its nonperiodic ground state can arise only by the minimization of the energy of competing interactions. We put forward some hypotheses concerning stabilities of nonperiodic ground states. In particular, we introduce two criteria, the so-called strict boundary conditions, and prove their equivalence to the zero-temperature stability of ground states against small perturbations of potentials of interacting particles. We discuss the relevance of these conditions for the low-temperature stability, i.e., for the existence of thermodynamically stable nonperiodic equilibrium states.

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