IUCr School on Basic Crystallography

Sunday 27th August to Saturday 2nd September 2006

[Participants at the 2006 computing school]

Participants of the 2006 IUCr Computing Commission Siena School on Basic Crystallography

[Map of Europe]

Welcome to the homepage of the Siena 2006 School on Crystallographic Teaching, which will be run at the Certosa di Pontignano, 10 km outside the town of Siena, in Tuscany, Italy. The school organisers are extremely appreciative of the generous support from the University of Siena in providing such facilities.

The Teaching Commission (TC) of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) proposes to organise an International School on Basic Crystallography. Recognising that basic crystallographic curricula is regressing in the academic bachelors and masters formation, the TC expects to fill this formation gap by organising an intensive one week course possibly on a periodic basis.

The organisation of the school will be close to the successful model adopted by the British Crystallography Association (BCA), which has acquired an excellent popularity since its existence.

[Certosa di Pontignano]
[Small cloister]

The topics will be presented to students in two equally distributed forms, namely ex cathedra teaching during the morning and tutoring during the afternoon. The lecturers are experienced crystallographers with excellent international reputation and a long experience in teaching. Following the presentation of each topic, tutors will lead the students by working in small groups with the aim to solve practical exercises.

After a general introduction to crystallography, the student will first acquire elementary notions on matrices and group theories in order to get familiar with the concept of crystal symmetry. The concept of isometry will lead to point and space group symmetries. The student will be able to understand the description of crystalline structures on the basis of its space group, lattice constants and atomic coordinates.

The students will then be introduced to diffraction, which is fundamental for the study of matter at the atomic level. The various X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques, based on single crystal and powder methods, will be introduced. The techniques of data acquisitions, structure solutions and refinements will be followed by the derivation and the interpretation of the results. Finally, the student will be introduced to information retrieval from the numerous crystallographic databases, which are of prime importance for any research in the field of crystallography.

[Bracci room]

With its origins as a 14th century monastery, the Certosa di Pontignano provides a wonderful environment for teachers and students alike. It is now run by the University of Siena. Attractively placed on the top of a hill, it is surrounded by vineyards; with a direct view to the town of Siena, and a famous Chianti winery. We hope to have a productive school worth remembering both for its teaching content, and its surroundings.