The new-found ability of atomistic calculations to provide hard numbers and insight into microscopic mechanisms is leading to increased contact and dialogue between physicists, chemists, materials scientists and engineers. This is occurring not only in novel fields such as superconducting ceramics, but also in well-established areas such as alloy and semiconductor design. As current materials are being pushed to their limits of performance, it is becoming apparent that a full understanding of the way atoms bind and pack together at the microscopic level will play a key role in future materials development. The aim of this open-ended series is, therefore, to examine the cohesion and structure of particular systems from both experimental and theoretical viewpoints. The dynamical interplay of theory and experiment within the series is represented by the hidden yin-yang motif of the series logo.