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Powder Diffraction. Theory and Practice. Edited by Robert E. Dinnebier and SimonJ.L. Billinge

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models: indexing, space-group determination, crystal-structure determination
and refinement (Chapters 7–10); quantitative phase analysis (Chapter 11);
determination of microstructural properties (Chapters 12 and 13); formulation
of local structural models from total
scattering data (Chapter 16); references
to “all” available software for powder
diffraction (Chapter 17, a very complete
list with useful comments).
Such a comprehensive list could
imply a mere juxtaposition of different,
unrelated topics under the title “all that
you can get from a PDP”. However, this
Powder Diffraction
is not the case: there is a leitmotif that is
Theory and Practice. evident from the very beginning when,
Edited by Robert
in Chapter 1, after having introduced a
E. Dinnebier and
few basic concepts (wave scattering,
Simon J. L. Billinge.
Bragg4s equation, and Ewald4s construcRoyal Society of
tion), the authors use these immediately
Chemistry, Camto show that locations and shapes of
bridge 2008.
diffraction peaks are affected by instru582 pp., hardcover
mental settings and the finite size of
£ 59.00.—ISBN
More generally, as PDPs result from
the interaction of instrumental settings,
In a powder diffraction experiment average crystal structure, microstructhere is a nearly “complete” sampling ture, and local structure, the better we
of the reciprocal space. This gives access describe (or control) some of them, the
to a wealth of information that is useful better we may know the others. What
to scientists with different backgrounds emerges is the potential complementarand interests. The aim of this new book ity of methods (and experiments) that
Powder Diffraction—Theory and Prac- are traditionally used for retrieving the
tice is to bring together the experience information buried within PDPs.
This approach emphasizes the quest
accumulated in different fields and to
offer a “global” perspective (and per- for the best instrumental setups and
haps a unified point of view) of the methods of data analysis (and is thus
achievements of quantitative analysis of definitely orientated towards large-scale
powder diffraction patterns (PDPs). facilities), but it slightly obscures the
This book, covering both theory and need for an independent validation of
practice and offering a broad overview the models that are derived. A someof current methods and applications, is a what related issue is that of the comgood springboard into the subject of pletion of structural models: it would
advanced powder diffraction, provided probably have been worth devoting a
that readers already possess a sound chapter to the use of Fourier and
knowledge of crystallography and dif- maximum entropy methods. Fortufraction by crystals, together with some nately, however, although these subjects
basic knowledge about powder diffrac- are not explicitly dealt with, references
to pertinent programs are given in
tion itself.
The main topics covered are: basic Chapter 17.
In planning this book, the editors
concepts of powder diffraction (Chapters 1 and 3); conventional and uncon- have chosen not only to cover all the
ventional experimental setups (Chap- major tools and theories of the powder
ters 2, 14, and 15); extraction of accurate diffraction trade, but also to emphasize
peak positions and intensities through methodologies that are too recent to be
the analytical description of peak shapes widespread within the PD community.
and instrumental contributions (Chap- This is certainly to be welcomed, since
ters 4–6); formulation of structural Zuev4s analytical approach to the total
2 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
instrumental function and Solovyov4s
DDM method will contribute to broadening the scope of powder diffraction.
Perhaps the charge flipping method of
Oszlanyi and Suto should also have been
This book, edited and written by
major experts of the field, delivers a
coherent and comprehensive picture of
the most relevant applications of
powder diffraction. Readers will certainly appreciate the wide range of
topics discussed in the chapters, and
this will promote cross-pollination of
ideas among scientists working on very
similar data with very different tools and
Angelo Sironi
Dipartimento di Chimica Strutturale e
Stereochimica Inorganica, Universit.
degli Studi di Milano, Milan (Italy)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200885621
Ribozymes and RNA Catalysis
Edited by David
M. J. Lilley and Fritz
Eckstein. Royal
Society of Chemistry, Cambridge
2008. 318 pp.,
£ 79.95.—ISBN
Eleven years ago I recommended to the
readership of this journal a book on
RNA catalysis by the same editorial
team. Here again, Lilley and Eckstein
present a volume that is more than just a
snapshot of a fast-moving research field.
RNA catalysis has now grown from a
rather exotic subject into an established
discipline that is included in standard
chemistry textbooks for undergraduate
and graduate education. The ongoing
discovery of novel catalytic and regulatory ribonucleic acids ensures that the
subject continues to receive attention,
and a direct comparison of the present
volume with its predecessor provides
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 8558 – 8559
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powder, billings, practice, edited, roberts, diffraction, dinnebier, theory, simone
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