Crystals have fascinated us for centuries with their beauty and symmetry, and have often been invested with magical powers. The use of X-ray diffraction, first pioneered in 1912 by father and son William and Lawrence Bragg, enabled us to probe the structure of molecules, and heralded the scientific study of crystals, leading to an understanding of their atomic arrangements at a fundamental level. The new discipline, called X-ray crystallography, has subsequently evolved into a formidable science that underpins many other scientific areas. Starting from the determination of the structures of very simple crystals, such as that of common salt, today it has become almost routine to determine the positions of tens of thousands of atoms in a crystal. In this Very Short Introduction Mike Glazer shows how the discoveries in crystallography have been applied to the creation of new and important materials, to drugs and pharmaceuticals and to our understanding of genetics, cell biology, proteins, and viruses. Tracing the history of crystallography, he analyses astonishing developments in new sources of X-rays, as well as of neutrons, and in electron microscopy, and considers the impact they have on the study of crystals today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In this Very Short Introduction, John Holland presents an introduction to the science of complexity. Using examples from biology and economics, he shows how complexity science models the behaviour of complex systems.
Minerals existed long before any forms of life, playing a key role in the origin and evolution of life; an interaction with biological systems that we are only now beginning to understand. Exploring the traditional strand of mineralogy, which emphasises the important mineral families, the well-established analytical methods (optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and the dramatic developments made in techniques over recent decades, David Vaughan also introduces the modern strand of mineralogy, which explores the role minerals play in the plate tectonic cycle and how they interact with the living world. Demonstrating how minerals can be critical for human health and illness by providing essential nutrients and releasing poisons, Vaughan explores the multitude of ways in which minerals have aided our understanding of the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
With the development of a variety of exciting new areas of research involving computational chemistry, nano- and smart materials, and applications of the recently discovered graphene, there can be no doubt that physical chemistry is a vitally important field. It is also perceived as the most daunting branch of chemistry, being necessarily grounded in physics and mathematics and drawing as it does on quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical thermodynamics. With his typical clarity and hardly a formula in sight, Peter Atkins' Very Short Introduction explores the contributions physical chemistry has made to all branches of chemistry. Providing an insight into its central concepts Atkins reveals the cultural contributions physical chemistry has made to our understanding of the natural world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In the last decade mathematical crystallography has found increasing interest. Siginificant results have been obtained by algebraic, geometric, and group theoretic methods. Also classical crystallography in three-dimen sional Euclidean space has been extended to higher dimen sions in order to understand better the dimension independent crystallographic properties. The aim of this note is to introduce the reader to the fascinating and rich world of geometric crystallography. The prerequisites for reading it are elementary geometry and topological notations, and basic knowledge of group theory and linear algebra. Crystallography is geometric by its nature. In many cases, geometric arguments are the most appropriate and can thus best be understood. Thus the geometric point of view is emphasized here. The approach is axiomatic start ing from discrete point sets in Euclidean space. Symmetry comes in very soon and plays a central role. Each chapter starts with the necessary definitions and then the subject is treated in two- and three-dimensional space. Subsequent sections give an extension to higher dimensions. Short historical remarks added at the end of the chapters will show the development of the theory. The chapters are main ly self-contained. Frequent cross references, as well as an extended subject index, will help the reader who is only interested in a particular subject.
Since the 1980s, a general theme in the study of high-temperature superconductors has been to test the BCS theory and its predictions against new data. At the same time, this process has engendered new physics, new materials, and new theoretical frameworks. Remarkable advances have occurred in sample quality and in single crystals, in hole and electron doping in the development of sister compounds with lower transition temperatures, and in instruments to probe structure and dynamics. Handbook of High-Temperature Superconductvity is a comprehensive and in-depth treatment of both experimental and theoretical methodologies by the the world's top leaders in the field. The Editor, Nobel Laureate J. Robert Schrieffer, and Associate Editor James S. Brooks, have produced a unified, coherent work providing a global view of high-temperature superconductivity covering the materials, the relationships with heavy-fermion and organic systems, and the many formidable challenges that remain.