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Acta Cryst. (1994). A50, 552


By W. Borchardt-Ott

Pp. x + 303. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1994
Price US $ 29.95 (soft cover). ISBN 3-540-56679-1

This is an English-language translation, by Dr R. O. Gould, of the fourth German edition of the author's Kristallographie. The book is aimed at students of mineralogy, chemistry, physics and geology. It is an elementary and nonmathematical treatment of the foundations of geometrical crystallography. It covers the familiar classical topics in a thorough and systematic fashion, using the concept of the space lattice as a starting point.

The author emphasizes the fundamental links between symmetry and physical properties in a way that is useful to the novice reader. The emphasis on graphical representations, both in the text and in the numerous exercises, is particularly helpful. Thus, examples of molecules, as well as crystals, are given for all 32 point groups. (The student may usefully identify the few misprints in that collection.)

Chapters on fundamentals of crystal chemistry and crystal defects offer a better treatment of these topics, for the nonspecialist, than is commonly encountered in contemporary introductory chemistry texts, but diffraction and crystal structure analysis are, by choice, only perfunctorily treated. The translation reads smoothly and should help ensure the wider circulation this inexpensive little text certainly merits.

Robert F. Bryan

Department of Chemistry
University of Virginia
McCormick Road
Virginia 22901

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