The Wigner–Seitz radius , named after Eugene Wigner and Frederick Seitz, is the radius of a sphere whose volume is equal to the mean volume per atom in a solid. This parameter is used frequently in condensed matter physics to describe the density of a system.
In a 3-D system with particles in a volume , the Wigner–Seitz radius is defined by
Solving for we obtain
where is the particle density of the valence electrons.
For a non-interacting system, the average separation between two particles will be . The radius can also be calculated as
Values of for single valence metals are listed below:
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