An Introduction for Earth Science (and other Solid State) Students


  • E. J. W. Whittaker, University of Oxford, UK

Starting from the basic features of crystal morphology and symmetry without assuming that the reader knows anything about crystals this textbook shows how they provide an insight into the way in which crystals are based on a repeating pattern of atoms. After summarizing and comparing the main features of the seven crystal systems and thirty-two crystal classes, the book goes on to treat X-ray crystallography in sufficient detail to provide an understanding of its uses in identification and in textural and structural studies, and to relate it to selected area electron diffraction methods in the electron microscope. Thus the student is brought to a level where he can understand the significance of crystallographic work, and has a thorough background if he wishes to move on to more specialist works. Problems and answers are included
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Particularly first and second year undergraduate geology courses but also for introductory chemistry and physics courses and scientists in other fields requiring an easy introduction to crystallography


Book information

  • Published: June 1981
  • Imprint: PERGAMON
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-023804-3


With each chapter there are well chosen exercises (with answers). I found very few typographical errors. The book is both readable and a work of reference. I recommend it to anyone teaching crystallography and even trying to make pupils familiar with thinking in three dimensions.

Education in Chemistry

Table of Contents

(partial) Preface, L.G. Berry


Part I: External form and cell structure of crystals

Repeating patterns and lattices

Crystal symmetry

Notation for crystallographic faces, forms and zones

Use of the stereographic projection

Morphology of the seven crystal systems

The thirty-two crystal classes

Part II: The basis of X-ray crystallography: X-ray powder diffraction

Intensities of X-ray reflections

The 14 Bravais lattices

Interpretation of powder photographs

X-ray diffraction by single crystals

Symmetry in repeating patterns

The determination of crystal structures

Electron diffraction in the electron microscope

Irregularities in crystals

Morphology revisited

Glossary of terms used in crystallography

Answers to problems