In mathematics, the square lattice is a type of lattice in a two-dimensional Euclidean space. It is the two-dimensional version of the integer lattice, denoted as Z2. It is one of the five types of two-dimensional lattices as classified by their symmetry groups; its symmetry group in IUC notation as p4m, Coxeter notation as [4,4], and orbifold notation as *442.
Two orientations of an image of the lattice are by far the most common. They can conveniently be referred to as the upright square lattice and diagonal square lattice; the latter is also called the centered square lattice. They differ by an angle of 45°. This is related to the fact that a square lattice can be partitioned into two square sub-lattices, as is evident in the colouring of a checkerboard.
The square lattice's symmetry category is wallpaper group p4m. A pattern with this lattice of translational symmetry cannot have more, but may have less symmetry than the lattice itself. An upright square lattice can be viewed as a diagonal square lattice with a mesh size that is √2 times as large, with the centers of the squares added. Correspondingly, after adding the centers of the squares of an upright square lattice we have a diagonal square lattice with a mesh size that is √2 times as small as that of the original lattice. A pattern with 4-fold rotational symmetry has a square lattice of 4-fold rotocenters that is a factor √2 finer and diagonally oriented relative to the lattice of translational symmetry.
With respect to reflection axes there are three possibilities:
|p4, [4,4]+, (442)||p4g, [4,4+], (4*2)||p4m, [4,4], (*442)|
|Wallpaper group p4, with the arrangement within a primitive cell of the 2- and 4-fold rotocenters (also applicable for p4g and p4m). A fundamental domain is indicated in yellow.||Wallpaper group p4g. There are reflection axes in two directions, not through the 4-fold rotocenters.||Wallpaper group p4m. There are reflection axes in four directions, through the 4-fold rotocenters. In two directions the reflection axes are oriented the same as, and as dense as, those for p4g, but shifted. In the other two directions they are linearly a factor √2 denser.|
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