This book provides a clear introduction to topics which are essential to students in a wide range of scientific disciplines but which are otherwise only covered in specialised and mathematically detailed texts. It shows how crystal structures may be built up from simple ideas of atomic packing and co-ordination, it develops the concepts of crystal symmetry, point and space groups by way of two dimensional examples of patterns and tilings, it explains the concept of the reciprocal lattice in simple terms and shows its importance in an understanding of light, X-ray and electron diffraction. Practical examples of the applications of these techniques are described and also the importance of diffraction in the performance of optical instruments.

The book is also of value to the general reader since it shows, by biographical and historical references, how the subject has developed and thereby indicates some of the excitement of scientific discovery.

2: Two-dimensional patterns, lattices and symmetry

3: Bravais lattices and crystal systems

4: Crystal symmetry: point groups, space groups, symmetry-related properties and quasiperiodic crystals

5: Describing lattice planes and directions in crystals: Miller indices and zone axis symbols

6: The recirocal lattice

7: The diffraction of light

8: X-ray diffraction: the contribution of Max von Laue, W.H. and W.L. Bragg and P.P Ewald

9: The diffraction of X-rays

10: X-ray diffraction of polycrystalline materials

11: Electron diffraction and its applications

12: The stereographic projection and its uses

13: Fourier analysis in diffraction and image formation

14: The physical properties of crystals and their description by tensors

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