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Book Review Abstracts on CD-ROMЧThe New Age Crystal Structures. I Patterns and Symmetry. By M. O'Keeffe and B. G. Hyde

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BOOKS
Abstracts on CD-ROM-The
Crystal Structures. I: Patterns and
Symmetry. By M . O‘Keeffe and
B. G. Hyde. Mineralogical Society
of America, Washington, DC, 1996.
453 pp., hardcover $36.00.-ISBN
0-939950-40-5
The contents of this book are: “Preface
and Note to the Reader” (6 pp.), “Symmetry in Two Dimensions” (27 pp.),
“Three-Dimensional Point Groups” (30
pp.), “Three-Dimensional Space Groups”
(41 pp.), “Lattice Geometry” (33 pp.),
“Polyhedra and Tilings” (66 pp.),
“Sphere and Cylinder Packings” (81 pp.),
“Nets and Infinite Polyhedra” (92 pp.),
Appendices (64 pp.), Book List (2 pp.),
and Indices (7 pp.). The appendices as
well as notes and exercises at the end of
each of the chapters provide additional
material for study. The scope of the book
is narrower than the title would suggest. It
deals with inorganic crystal structures of
interest to the solid state chemist.
Crystallography has been too successful recently. If you can raise a few hundred
thousand dollars you can buy a black box
(an automatic single crystal diffractometer). At the push of a button most crystal
structures can be solved without any
deeper understanding of the scientific
background involved. This results in a
flood of published crystal structure data
that tell us how atoms arrange in space.
Unfortunately these data cannot be assimilated without (according to the preface) “. . .learning the methods appropriate
to describing infinite periodic objects.
These methods are generally unfamiliar to
those who are not professional crystallographers (a fact that greatly hinders the development of solid state chemistry) and
one of the aims of this book is to provide
a usable introduction to them.” The vol-
/
This section contains hook reviews and a list of
new hooks received by the editor Book reviews are
written by invitation from the editor. Suggestions
for books to he ireviewed and for hook reviewers
arc welcome Publishers should send brochures or
(better) books to the editorial office. Redaktion
Angewandtc Cheniie, Postfach 10 11 61, D-69451
Weinheim. Germany. The editor reserves the right
of selecting which hooks will he reviewed Uninvited hooks not chosen for review will not he returned
New Age?
ume is meant by the authors “as a textbook for courses and as a general reference”. The necessary basic tools of
crystallography are introduced in the first
four chapters. That covers the symmetry
part of the subtitle. The remaining three
chapters deal with the patterns of inorganic crystal structures, that is with polyhedra, tilings, packings, and nets, and
they contain some new material. The
short book list is well annotated, but even
with the few references interspersed
throughout the text it is insufficient as a
guide for further study. One electronic
data base is listed (Inorganic Crystal
Structure Data) and is judged as rather
imperfect, but still as excellent value for
money. However, the equally important
data base for metals, CRYSTMET, is
omitted (a pity since intermetallics figure
prominently in this volume). The incomplete indices are woefully inadequate and
will unfortunately hamper the use of the
volume as a general reference source.
Thus, a notation is introduced for “coordination numbers” (p. vi). the term is used
in the text (e.g., between pp. 208 and 2 5 9 ,
but it is not entered in the subject index.
The related topic of filling of interstices
comes up in the text, but cannot be located via the subject index under “filling”,
“stuffing” or “interstices”. The term “rutile” has four references in the index, but
in fact shows up at least four more times
(on pages vi, 82, 220, and 321).
The attempt to cover many aspects of
basic crystallography and the tools of
crystal chemistry within one book (the authors call this the “split personality” of
the volume) means that both goals suffer
from a lack of the space necessary for a
thorough exposition. As a textbook for
self-study by neophytes it seems to be too
concise. It might be useful as ancillary
reading in courses on solid state chemistry
and the like. For experienced workers it
will be fun, much appreciated, and very
instructive in its last three chapters (which
cover more than one half of the book).
There they will find, after some searching
(which should be entertaining in itself),
many a nugget of information out of the
rich store of the authors’ knowledge. The
fun part comes also from the idiosyncratic
nature of the book and from the less-than-
pompous language used by the authors
(“why, for heaven‘s sake” on p. 270, when
questioning the popular view on the reason for the occurrence of close packed
structures). At its price, Crystal Structures is certainly a good buy.
WcJrnerH. Baur
Institut fur Kristallographie
der Universitat
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Electronic Conference on Trends in
Organic Chemistry, ECTOC 1. Edited by H. s. Rzepa, C. Leuch and J. M .
Goodman. Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 1996. CD-ROM
E 50.00.-ISBN 0-85404-899-5
So, the virtual conference has finally arrived. N o more long trips to Tokyo,
Rome, or Jerusalem to discuss new ideas
with other scientists working in the same
field. By using the Internet via a laptop we
can now take part in conferences from the
work-desk or even from home. Actually,
of course, it has not quite reached that
point yet, so d o not worry. Although the
expression “Electronic Conference’’ may
at first conjure up an image of such a situation resulting from the use of new media,
the reality is slightly different. As will become clear below, the purpose of an electronic conference is essentially to complement and report on an actual conference.
The growth of interest in electronic
conferences in the last few years has largely been due to developments in the Internet, which has changed from being a textorientated medium based on services such
as e-mail, telnet, and ftp, to a multimedia
network (the Worldwide Web, www).
This transformation has opened up new
possibilities for handling information, especially in the natural sciences. Lectures,
posters, and discussion sessions taking
place at a conference can now be recorded
fully in electronic form, and transmitted
without any loss of information in HTML
format (hypertext markup language).
Three-dimensional molecular models
embedded within the text can be moved
and rotated on the monitor screen. Dynamic processes can be shown as animat0570-0833~Y7/3612-1353$17 50+ 50 0
1353
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