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Acta Cryst. (1997). A53, 252

Symmetry of crystals: Introduction to International Tables for Crystallography Vol. A

By Theo Hahn and Hans Wondratschek

Pp. 144. Sofia: Heron Press, 1994
Price (paper) DM25. ISBN 954-580-007-0

This book is intended as an introduction to the space-group symmetries of crystals and their compilation in International Tables for Crystallography Volume A. It has its origin in lecture notes for a series of Summer Schools on the Symmetry of Crystals, presented by the authors since 1988, most recently in Bulgaria in 1994.

The text begins with a review of group theory (Chapter 1) and the representation of crystallographic symmetry operations by matrices (Chapter 2). Group theory is then used to describe space-group types (Chapter 3), changes in coordinate systems (Chapter 4), group-subgroup relations (Chapter 5), generators of space groups (Chapter 6), space-group projections (Chapter 7) and systematic absences and reflection conditions (Chapter 8).

The set of 16 varied problems provided is a useful feature of the work. Included are problems using group theory and matrix algebra applied to general position and symmetry diagrams, coordinate transformations and phase transitions. Also included are examples of interpretation of a reciprocal lattice, a set of precession photographs and line splitting in a powder pattern. The solutions to all problems are complete and clearly presented.

The style of the text is similar to that of the five introductory chapters in Volume A itself. Readers who desire a more complete group-theory basis to amplify those chapters will find this new book very useful. However, those who wish simply to use the Tables, but not necessarily master the underlying theory, are unlikely to find much additional help in this Introduction to Volume A over and above that already provided by Professor Hahn in his Brief Teaching Edition of Volume A.

Margaret E. Kastner

Department of Chemistry
Bucknell University
Lewisburg
PA 17837
USA


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