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The recently elucidated crystal structure of the technologically important amalgam Na11Hg52 is described by means of a method employing some fundamental concept of number theory, namely modular arithmetical (congruence) relations observed between a slightly idealized set of atomic coordinates. In combination with well known ideas from group theory, regarding lattice–sublattice transformations, these allow for a deeper mutual understanding of both and provide the structural chemist with a slightly different kind of spectacles, thus enabling a distinct viw on complex crystal structures in general.

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